Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Around the State



Physician Sales & Service (PSS) acquired medical supplies and equipment distributor Franz GmbH of Germany for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is part of the company's expansion into the international medical distribution market. Nationally, PSS acquired two x-ray companies, X-Ray Corp. of Atlanta and Chesapeake X-Ray Corp. of Roanoke, Virginia, for a combined $18 million in common stock and 6.8 million in assumed debt. The acquisitions make PSS the second-largest radiology and diagnostic imaging company in the nation.

IBM Global Services plans to open a 100 to 150-job technology services operation in February or March. The expansion is part of IBM's agreement to assume some of the information technology services of Prudential Insurance Co. of America.

HomeSide Lending Inc., the mortgage company formed from the loan operations of BancBoston Mortgage Corp. and Barnett Banks, will sell 5.9 million shares at $16 to $18 in an initial public offering. The company, which employs roughly 1,000 in Jacksonville, will use the proceeds to pay off debt.

Prudential Network Realty and Property Care Services of Neptune Beach agreed to a merge their residential property companies and be operated out of Neptune Beach.

Jotan Inc., a distributor of packaging products, agreed to acquire Southland Holding Company for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition, which will add 11 distribution centers across the country to Jotan's four, is part of the company's efforts to become a nationwide provider of timely packaging services.

American Heritage Life Insurance Co. agreed to buy Austin, Texas-based Columbia Universal Corp. (whose principle subsidiary is Columbia Universal Life Insurance Co.) for $44 million in cash. Columbia Universal will continue to maintain operations at its Austin headquarters. The deal will be completed early this year.

Strategic staffing services company AccuStaff acquired New York City business information software firm HJM Consulting for an undisclosed amount. AccuStaff now has more than 750 offices in 43 states.

Regency Realty, one of the Southeast's leading developers and operators of grocery store-anchored shopping centers, acquired four shopping centers - three in Florida and one in N.C. - for approximately $37.2 million.

St. Joe Paper Co. hired Peter S. Rummell, chairman of Walt Disney Imagineering, to be its chairman and CEO. Rummell, who spent 11 years with Disney, is credited as the driving force behind Celebration, Disney's planned community. St. Joe, whose primary interests include forest products, transportation, sugar production and real estate, is the state's largest private landholder and has been restructuring for the past year.