January 24, 2020

Around the State

| 3/1/1997
Two groups - Primus Health Care Corp. in south Florida and a partnership between the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association - couldn't find enough doctors willing to put up money to create a physician-owned HMO, and both efforts have failed.

NABI, a publicly held, biopharmaceutical company, has been awarded a contract from Korea Green Cross Corp. to provide $19 million of plasma from 1997 through 1999. Korea Green Cross develops and manufactures viral and bacterial products.

Montreal-based CD maker AstralTech Americas closed its Boca facility and laid off about 90 people, citing a slowdown in the CD industry.

Sunbeam Corp. will close six more warehouses than it had planned. The company already has closed more than 25 warehouses, fired 3,000 workers and put up for sale businesses that employ another 3,000.

Republic Industries acquired electronic security companies Acadiana Alarm Systems of Lafayette, La., and Lancaster, Pa.-based Commonwealth Security Systems, for $36 million in stock and debt.

The Greenberg Traurig law firm has added an international group in its New York office and opened an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Interval International, a vacation-exchange service provider, has purchased Intersol S.A., which serves more than 28,000 families in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Interval's clients include Disney and Marriott.

Aircraft maintenance company SabreTech Corp. will sell the facility involved in the shipment of oxygen generators suspected in the crash of a ValuJet plane. The buyer is a Miami firm, Commodore Aviation Inc.

QPQ Corp. acquired Mexico's largest latex glove maker Corporacion Vitex S.A. The deal will give QPQ control of more than 50% of the Mexican latex glove market.

L. Luria and Son will close 17 of its 45 Florida stores. The Luria family sold the retail chain last July to Rachmil Lekach, the founder of Perfumania [FT, Oct. 1996].

Paxson Communications will purchase Kansas City's KYFC-TV 50, the nation's 32nd largest market. Paxson's television group is now the largest owner of full-power broadcast TV properties in the U.S.

Palm Capital bought Net Lnnx's publicly traded subsidiary Communications/USA for $900,000 in cash, stock and notes. Both companies are based in West Palm Beach.

US Diagnostic agreed to buy San Francisco-based American Shared Hospital Services, with mobile imaging centers in 22 states, for about $11.4 million. With 118 diasnostic imaging centers in 17 states, US Diagnositc is one of hte leading radiology services in the country.


Martin County Is Reeling ...

... from the impending loss of the Northrop Grumman plant - and its 500 jobs - in Stuart. The county worked hard to keep the plant, which had been open for more than 40 years and had survived earlier cutbacks and a conversion from defense-related business to commercial work. The plant produced engine housings and fuselage sections for Boeing, which took most of that work in-house after its acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas, according to Bob Allen, executive VP of the Economic Council of Martin County.

A $625,000 state-county tax incentive package in 1994 that many believed guaranteed the plant's survival was a bitter pill. "We got caught in the warp of changes in the aerospace industry nationwide. They told us it wasn't Stuart's fault," Allen says. What now? The county is pursuing state work force training grants and is revving up its recruiting apparatus. One issue is whether Martin will offer incentives to woo companies; voters rejected a proposal last fall, and the departure of Northrop Grumman may only strengthen the anti-incentive forces.

Bob Astolfi, executive director of the Business Development Board of Martin County, is optimistic. When Northrop Grumman shuts down in 1998, it will leave behind first-rate, county-owned manufacturing and office space located next to the county's airport. That space and the county's work force "may outweigh incentives,'' Astolfi says.

Two bits of irony: Up in Melbourne, Northrop Grumman is hiring to fulfill a defense contract. And for a time, the company will actually increase production in Stuart to meet existing orders from Boeing, Allen says.

Tags: Florida Small Business, Politics & Law, Southeast, Business Florida

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