FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Southwest Florida & Tampa Bay Business Briefs - Feb. 2007

» A new city ordinance requires businesses and apartments to recycle certain types of waste, including newspaper, wood, paper, aluminum, steel, tin cans, glass bottles and jars.

» First Banks of St. Louis bought out Coast Financial Holdings for $12.1 million, or $1.86 a share, in December. The Bradenton bank had struggled after customers defaulted on construction loans valued at more than $50 million — most of them tied to the collapse of Construction Compliance in St. Petersburg.

» Ajax Building Corp. was awarded a $6.5-million contract to build a fleet maintenance building and fuel depot for the Charlotte County Public Works Department. It is the first phase in a $19-million project that will include an administrative building, operations building and central warehouse.

» Southeastern University has launched its own Christian music record label, Fire Fall Records, to promote student talent.

» GeoPharma, a Largo-based company that manufactures and distributes over-the-counter nutritional and general drug products, is partnering with the University of South Florida Division of Patents and Licensing and the USF Research Foundation to acquire worldwide patent rights of a urine test for early detection of ovarian cancer that was developed by USF’s Patricia Kruk. GeoPharma has also reached an agreement with Vetoquinol USA for the national marketing of Vetprofen, a generic pain reliever for dogs.

» Neighborhood America, which builds and manages interactive virtual social networks for businesses and government, is hiring 40 employees, including account executives, technical programmers, project managers and supporting executives.

» IT security giant McAfee is acquiring SafeBoot, a Naples company that provides mobile data protection and access control technology, for $350 million.

» Christine Jennings withdrew her lawsuit over her 369-vote loss to Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan in 2006. Jennings plans to run for Congress again this year.

» Palace Sports & Entertainment pulled the plug on its deal to sell the Tampa Bay Lightning to Absolute Hockey Enterprises for $200 million after Absolute missed a scheduled $5-million payment for the team and infighting broke out among several investors.

» Metro Development Group in Tampa has purchased 8,300 home sites in Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Sarasota, Lee, De Soto and Brevard counties from Lennar Homes, which preferred to have the cash instead.

» OSI Restaurant Partners, which owns Outback Steakhouse, is planning to sell some of its smaller chains, including the Hawaiian-themed eatery Roy’s.

» Sypris Electronics received a $125-million contract from the Department of Defense to produce cryptocards, which allow military personnel to log
into highly protected computer networks using encrypted passwords.

» Home Depot is closing a Brandon call center, eliminating 750 jobs.