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News and Notes — by Palm Beach, Delray's Online Business and Community Newspaper
news and notes

First Republic Bank opens in Palm Beach

PALM BEACH — California-based First Republic Bank has opened an office in Palm Beach at 241 Royal Palm Way. The office will provide private banking services,  including real estate and personal lending, deposit, retirement and foreign exchange services.  First Republic has more than 70 offices in urban, coastal markets in the United States.

Florida Public Utilities buys Glades Gas business

WEST PALM BEACH — Florida Public Utilities Co., a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corp., has bought the propane operating assets of Glades Gas Company.  Terms of the deal were not released.  Glades Gas, a family-owned business for eighty years, provides propane service to about 3,000 residential and commercial accounts in Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry Counties.  Current owners, Monica Clark and Kevin McCarthy, will assist Florida Public Utilities in transitioning the propane operating assets from Glades Gas.  

Fortune magazine recognizes Publix

LAKELAND — Fortune magazine has named Publix as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in the U.S. for the 16th consecutive year.  Publix was ranked No. 77 on this year’s list — up from No. 78 last year — and was one of only 13 companies to have made the list every year since its inception in 1998.

Gold Coast PR Council announces 2013 board

BOCA RATON — The Gold Coast Public Relations Council has announced its board of directors for 2013: Julie Mullen of The Buzz Agency will serve as president; Dan Shube of Labor Finders International will serve as vice president; Judy Joffe of NCCI and Rich Pollack of Pollack Communications will serve as co-treasurers; and Diane Diamantis of WordWork will serve as secretary.

Additional members of the board include: Michelle Brown, Kaliah Communications; Lee Gladstone, Gladstone Multimedia; Erika Grodzki, Lynn University; Sally Ling, author/writer; Karen Lustgarten, Lustgarten Communications; Suzi McCreery, Northwood University; Elaine Meier, Elaine Meir Associates; Claudia Perez-Bonilla, Business Wire; and Debbie Wemyss, DW Consulting Solutions. Continuing on the board as ex-officio members are GCPRC presidents, co-founders Gary Schweikart and Barry Epstein.

Hanley & Associates joins national law firm

ATLANTA — The West Palm Beach law firm of Christine D. Hanley & Associates has merged with FordHarrison LLP, a national labor and employment law firm. The deal expands FordHarrison  to more than 200 attorneys and 23 offices nationwide.  FordHarrison previously established offices in Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Hanley’s five attorneys and staff join the national firm.

Arthur J. Gallagher buys Delray Beach firm

DELRAY BEACH— Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced that it has bought Corporate Benefits Advisors in Delray Beach. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2007, Corporate Benefits Advisors is an employee benefits insurance broker and consultant providing services nationally. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., is an international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm, which  has operations in 18 countries and offers services in more than 110 countries around the world. 

GEO completes restructuring

BOCA RATON — GEO Group Inc., the private prisons firm, has completed its restructuring and begun operating as a real estate investment trust.  The restructuring included sale of GEO Care, the company’s health care arm, to GEO and GEO Care executives, and moving its other non-real estate –related businesses into a separate subsidiary. GEO Care provides mental health services to the Palm Beach County jail.

Mednax buys physician practices in Texas, Tennesee

FORT LAUDERDALE — Medical practice management firm Mednax Inc. has bought Anesthesiologists Associated, P.C., a private physician group practice in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Pediatric Surgical and Associates, a pediatric surgery physician group practice serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  and surrounding North Texas area. Anesthesiologists Associated includes 34 anesthesiologists, 100 anesthetists and 24 other clinical and administrative staff, providing anesthesia care at four hospitals and two surgery centers. Pediatric Surgical and Associates includes six pediatric surgeons and 15 other clinical and administrative staff.  Mednax paid cash for the two practices; no other terms of the deal were disclosed.

World Fuel completes Multi Service deal

MIAMI — World Fuel Services Corp. has announced that it has completed a deal to buy assets of Multi Service Corp., which specializes in fleet, government, and commercial payment programs.  Multi Service is headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., maintains offices in the Netherlands and Australia and has 360 employees. Multi Service processes more than 8 million transactions annually. The Multi Service product offering includes the Multi Service Fuel Card, accepted at more than 3,500 truck stops in the United States and Canada, Multi Service Tolls, payment solutions for tolls, bridges and tunnels across Europe, government payment systems for global fuel procurement, and commercial payment programs in the transportation and retail industries. The deal is expected to added 12 to 16 cents to World Fuel’s earnings during the first 12 months. World Fuel will record a one-time charge of $2.8 million for the fourth quarter.

BankUnited expanded office network in December

MIAMI LAKES —BankUnited  said Friday that it has opened four branches during December ,giving it 98 offices operating in 15 Florida counties. BankUnited branches at 1099 N.W. 42 Ave. in Miami and 12290 Biscayne Blvd. in North Miami opened in the first two weeks of December followed by a new branch at 620 W. Indiantown Road in Jupiter and a newly relocated branch at 2500 North Federal Highway in Lighthouse Point.  Additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2012, BankUnited began preparations for new offices  in Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Pompano Beach, Altamonte Springs and Sarasota scheduled to open in 2013.

NextEra sells interest in hydro plants

JUNO BEACH — NextEra Energy Resources has reached an agreement to sell all of its interest in White Pine Hydro Investments LLC to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners for $760 million. White Pine Hydro owns hydroelectric plants in Maine and New Hampshire. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Meister joins ADT's board of directors

BOCA RATON — ADT Corp. announced Tuesday that Keith Meister, the founder and managing partner of Corvex Management LP,  has joined the ADT board. Corvex Management owns 11.5 million shares, or 5.02 percent, of ADT's common stock. Corvex has agreed to, vote its shares for all of the board's director nominees at ADT’s upcoming annual meeting. Meister has been managing partner of Corvex Management since December 2010.  Before that, Meister was vice chairman of Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc., the general partner of Icahn Enterprises L.P.  Meister also served as CEO of Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc.  Meister has served on the boards of Motorola Mobility, Motorola Inc., XO Holdings Inc., Federal-Mogul Corp., American Railcar Industries Inc. and Ralcorp Holdings Inc.

Mednax buys Georgia anesthesia practice

FORT LAUDERDALE — Mednax, the physician practice management company, has bought  DeKalb Anesthesia Associates of Georgia. The group provides anesthesia services at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur and DeKalb Medical at Hillandale in Decatur, Ga. The practice, which includes 13 anesthesiologists and 33 anesthetists, will become part of Mednax’s American Anesthesiology division.  Terms of the deal were not released.

GEO mulls special dividend, conversion to REIT

BOCA RATON — Private prisons firm GEO Group has set Dec. 12 as the payment of a special dividend to shareholders totaling as much as $360 million if the company decides to convert itself into a real estate investment trust. The board is expected to decide whether to make the move by Dec. 7. If the board goes ahead with the change, each shareholder would be able to elect to receive the dividend in cash or stock.



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