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Knack wins $25K prize

Knack, a Tampa-based educational technology company, won the audience choice award and $25,000 in the Lumina Foundation Education Innovation Prize challenge, a national competition that encourages development of products and services that can make learning after high school available to more Americans. Knack was one of three finalists in the competition.

Plant City company sells fruit business

Paradise Inc. (OTCPink: PARF) agreed to sell substantially all of its assets engaged in the production, manufacture, sale and distribution of glacé fruit product to a subsidiary of Seneca Foods Corp. The sale price is about $9.4 million, according to a regulatory filing. Paradise, based in Plant City, has been exploring strategic options and eventually plans to sell all of its assets.  

MarineMax expands in Texas

MarineMax completed the acquisition of Sail & Ski Center, a boat dealership operating in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. The purchase price was not disclosed. Fiscal 2018 revenue for Sail & Ski’s three locations exceeded $40 million, a news release said. MarineMax (NYSE: HZO) is a recreational boat and yacht retailer headquartered in Clearwater.

Tampa’s Fintech buys local startup

Financial Information Technologies acquired Lilypad Solutions. Both tech companies are based in Tampa. Lilypad, founded in 2013, develops software for beverage alcohol sales. It's the first acquisition for Fintech, which created the first electronic payment tool for alcohol purchasing in 1991. Financial terms were not disclosed in a news release.

Immertec competes for prize money

Immertec, a PitchLyst company in Tampa with a virtual reality medical training device platform, is one of 20 med-tech firms that will take part in the Medical Capital Innovation Competition this week in Cleveland, Ohio.  The event draws professional and collegiate teams from across the globe to pitch ideas with the potential to transform the future of healthcare and win cash prizes totaling $100,000. 

Tampa Bay Times a Pulitzer finalist

The Tampa Bay Times was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in the investigative reporting category, for news stories on patient deaths at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Pulitzer judges credited the Times' Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi with "impactful reporting, based on sophisticated data analysis." The Los Angeles Times was named the winner in the category.

Tampa pharma firm elects new chair

HedgePath Pharmaceuticals elected W. Mark Watson as chairman of the board, effective April 15. Watson, who is been on the HedgePath (OTC: HPPI) board since 2014, is a CPA who also serves on the board of Sykes Enterprises (Nasdaq: SYKE). E. Brendan Magrab, who has been HedgePath chair, is stepping down from that position in order to fulfill his duties as CEO of Epalex Corp., a news release said.

Drug maker with St. Pete plant makes a $1B buy

Catalent Inc. agreed to buy Paragon Bioservices for $1.2 billion. Catalent (NYSE: CTLT) is a contract drug manufacturer; its St. Petersburg plant is its primary softgel development and manufacturing facility in North America. Paragon Bioservices is a biotech company that manufactures gene therapies for clinical and commercial use.

Tampa company makes third deal

Industrial and Institutional Sales Group has bought Cinpak, an Austin, Texas firm whose product offerings include disposable take-out packaging, pizza boxes and buffet supplies. It’s the third acquisition for I&I Sales Group, a portfolio company of Tampa-based private equity firm Osceola Capital. The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release.

Raymond James sells stock for Uber IPO

Raymond James & Associates is one of the 29 underwriters for Uber Technologies’ highly anticipated initial public offering, according to documents filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. St. Petersburg-based Raymond James also was an underwriter for rival ride-share company Lyft’s IPO last month.

Tricera grows St. Pete portfolio

Tricera Capital paid $5.98 million to buy the 27,796-square-foot building at 433 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg, according to a deed filed April 1 with Pinellas County. The building is home to the Rising Tide Innovation Center.  Tricera, a Miami-based real estate firm, owns five other properties on Central Avenue, as well as properties in the Edge and Grand Central districts.

Tampa REITS merge

Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT Inc. and Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II Inc. have a definitive agreement to merge, creating an entity valued at $3.2 billion. Both Tampa-based real estate investment trusts focus on investing in income producing commercial real estate. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019, although the agreement allows Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT to look for another buyer.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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