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Business News

Business Briefs for June 6

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 04:51 PM
WASHINGTON -

Vinik donates $500,000 for Florida Aquarium

Jeff Vinik gave the downtown Channel District another boost Tuesday with a $500,000 donation to The Florida Aquarium's $15 million expansion campaign.

The donation propelled the campaign past the halfway mark, the aquarium said. Since the project was announced last year, the aquarium has raised $8 million.

Hurricane workshop set for local businesses

The University of South Florida will hold a workshop for local business owners to help them protect their businesses from hurricanes and other disasters.

The free "Bulletproof Your Business" workshop will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the Tampa Port Authority Building, 1101 Channelside Drive, Suite 210. 

To register, go to clients.floridasbdc.org/events.aspx.

SensoryEffects to buy Bartow flavor company

SensoryEffects Flavor Systems of Bridgeton, Mo., is acquiring Bartow-based Flavors From Florida, Inc., a wholly owned business of Agrana Fruit US Inc. that supplies flavor systems to dairy and beverage manufacturers in the United States, Central America and the Caribbean.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sara Lee settles on 'Hillshire Brands' name

Food company Sara Lee Corp., which is splitting into two businesses this month, says it is naming its North America company Hillshire Brands Co.

The business will house brands such as Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean and Ball Park as well as frozen desserts and other bakery products, Sara Lee said Tuesday. The other company to emerge from Sara Lee will be an international coffee and tea company called D.E. Master Blenders 1753.

Berkshire discloses newspaper stake

Billionaire Warren Buffett's company now owns about 3.2 percent of Lee Enterprises' stock as Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s newspaper holdings continue to grow.

Buffett's Omaha-based company disclosed owning 1.66 million shares of stock Tuesday of the Iowa-based publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Last month Berkshire announced a deal to buy 63 newspapers from Media General Inc. for $142 million. Media General owns The Tampa Tribune, which was not part of the agreement because the company said it may be sold separately.

Buffett has said Berkshire may buy more newspapers in the future despite the challenges the industry faces.

Kia recalls nearly 73,000 Rios for air bag problem

Kia Motors America is recalling nearly 73,000 Rio small cars to fix a problem with the front-passenger air bag.

The recall affects cars from the 2006 to 2008 model years. The cars were built between Feb. 20, 2005, and Dec. 9, 2007.

Kia will replace the sensor for free starting in July. Owners with questions can call Kia at (800) 333-4542.

Ex-Madoff worker pleads guilty to conspiracy

A former administrator at Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff's investment firm has pleaded guilty in New York to federal conspiracy charges but has denied any role in his multibillion-dollar fraud.

Craig Kugel entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.

The 38-year-old Kugel admits that while overseeing employee benefits for the firm he allowed unreported perks to go to people not on the payroll. He apologized in court for what he called a "lapse in judgment."

Thomas H. Lee buys stake in Party City

Private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners LP is buying a majority stake in party supplies company Party City Holdings Inc. in a recapitalization deal valued at $2.69 billion.

Party City management, Advent International Corp., Berkshire Partners LLC and Weston Presidio will hold minority stakes in the business.

Privately held Party City, founded in 1947, has about 825 superstores and 400 temporary Halloween shops. It also offers its products in more than 40,000 retailers worldwide.

Fannie Mae names Mayopoulos CEO

Timothy Mayopoulos, the general counsel of Fannie Mae, will be the next CEO of the government-controlled mortgage giant.

Fannie Mae says Mayopoulos, 53, will become president and chief executive officer on June 18. He replaces Michael J. Williams, who announced in January that he would step down after a successor was found.

So far, Fannie and Freddie have cost taxpayers about $170 billion — the largest bailout of the financial crisis.

From staff and wire reports

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