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Tampa private equity firm buys Austin healthcare consultant

Osceola Capital, private equity firm in Tampa,  has acquired Healthcents Inc., an Austin, Texas-based healthcare consulting company. Financial terms were not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal. Healthcents also has a new CEO, Armando Cardoso, who previously led a national team at Ascension, one of the largest health systems in the country. Healthcents represents the fifth platform within the current fund at Osceola Capital, which invests in lower middle-market services companies. Acorn Street Capital provided senior debt financing for the Healthcents deal, and DLA Piper acted as legal counsel to Osceola Capital.

Dynasty Financial Partners sells minority stake to Envestnet

Envestnet (NYSE: ENV), a Chicago company that provides technology for wealth managers, has taken a minority stake in Dynasty Financial Partners, a St. Petersburg firm that provides wealth management and technology platforms for independent financial advisory firms. A spokeswoman for Dynasty confirmed that it’s the first outside investment in the company, which moved its headquarters to St. Petersburg last year. The size of the stake was not disclosed. The two companies announced the investment in a news release. They also said they would launch the Advisor Services Exchange later this year. The Exchange will provide Envestnet clients with the ability to leverage value-added services currently available to Dynasty network firms, such as access to growth capital, business management tools, marketing services and outsourced CFO services.

Jabil issues $500 million in notes to refinance debt

Jabil is issuing $500 million in senior notes, a debt security that takes precedence over other types of debt. The new notes won’t come due until 2030. Jabil (NYSE: JBL), a manufacturing solutions business and the largest company headquartered in St. Petersburg, said in a news release it would use the proceeds to repay term loan debt. Moody’s Investor Service assigned an investment grade Baa3 rating to the new notes and said the move is a credit positive if Jabil pays off terms loans due in 2020 or 2022. Moody’s also assigned a stable outlook to the new notes, reflecting the credit agency’s expectation that revenue at Jabil will grow in the low single digit percentage range and that operating margins and free cash flow will remain steady. S&P Global Ratings rated the new notes BBB-, also an investment grade rating.

Cott considers getting out of the coffee business

Cott Corp. said it is evaluating strategic alternatives for S&D Coffee and Tea, including a potential sale of the business unit. S&D is Cott's coffee, tea and extract solutions segment. A sale would transition Tampa-based Cott (NYSE: COT) into a pure-play water solutions provider, a news release said. Cott said it has hired a financial advisor as part of its strategic planning process but there's no assurance that any particular alternative will be pursued. It would be another major transition for Cott, which sold its carbonated soft drinks and juice businesses in 2018.

PSTA fights human trafficking

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is training its drivers to recognize passengers who may be victims of human trafficking. Florida ranks third in the United States in human trafficking cases, and many abusers use public transportation to move their victims, PSTA said in a news release. The PSTA program, a partnership with the Department of Transportation, Truckers Against Human Trafficking, and the Department of Homeland Security, trains bus operators what to do when faced with an emergency. Since the program began in May, 78 staff members have been trained, the news release said.

USFSP researcher gets grant to address HIV stigma

A $70,000 grant for a post-doctoral fellow at University of South Florida St. Petersburg will be used to target the multiple stigmas surrounding HIV in Tampa Bay. The goal is to increase health screenings and diminish the spread of the disease. The grant went to Kemesha Gabbidon, a post-doctoral fellow at USFSP, who will  use it to implement a community program that works with individuals and communities most affected by the epidemic. This program seeks to generate greater awareness about the disease and its treatments, reduce the negative stigma around those who have it and improve the overall health and well-being of populations, a news release said. Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of new HIV cases.

Tampa health information management business has new owner

GHR Healthcare has acquired the Tampa-based health information management division of HCTec. The new entity is now called GHR RevCycle Workforce, and is focused on coding, clinical documentation improvement and case management. GHR RevCycle works with with clients across the United States, providing key personnel, streamlined processes and program management services to improve a healthcare organization's revenue cycle health, a news release said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. GHR Healthcare is the Houston-based parent organization to a family of healthcare and community-based staffing companies.

Cross-Bay Ferry ridership up 36% year over year

The Cross-Bay Ferry is well on pace to eclipse last year's record ridership of nearly 53,000 riders. Ferry ridership in December 2019 was nearly 50 percent higher than in December 2018, a news release said, and overall, the ferry has seen a 36 percent increase in ridership year-over-year in the first two months of the seasons. The ferry carried 22,510 passengers in November and December 2019, compared to 16,566 in the same months in 2018.  A move back to the Tampa Convention Center gets some of the credit for the increase, because it allows HMS Ferries to operate free from conflicts with cruise ships, which had limited its operations in previous years, according to the news release.

Private equity group Thomas Lee buys major stake in Clearwater’s AmeriLife

AmeriLife, a Clearwater-based company that markets and distributes life, health and retirement products, has entered into a recapitalization agreement with an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee, a private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Barrons cited sources who said the deal was worth more than $1 billion. The investors are buying a majority stake from J.C. Flowers & Co. "We are excited to partner with THL in the next phase of our growth, building upon the success of our more than four-year relationship with J.C. Flowers & Co.,"  Scott R. Perry, CEO of AmeriLife, said in a news release.

JPMorgan Chase gives $500,000 to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council for affordable housing initiative

As the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council gathered for its leadership summit, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a $500,000 investment to support the organization's new initiative “Resilient and Energy Assessment of Communities and Housing” (REACH), REACH will seek to bring together experts, community leaders and elected officials to assess the potential risks to local communities from sea level rise and extreme weather events. The project will help to create strategies and policies to increase affordable and resilient housing development. The two-year initiative aims to weave affordable housing and development with climate change and resilience planning.

Cross-Bay Ferry plans special MLK Day runs

The Cross-Bay Ferry will alter its schedule and offer service on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The ferry does not normally run on Mondays, but plans special runs on Jan. 20 to allow more people to enjoy the day off and the events offered, including St. Petersburg’s Annual MLK National Parade & Family Fun Day, a news release said. The special Monday schedule will begin with an 11 a.m departure from St. Petersburg’s dock in the Vinoy Yacht Basin, followed by a 12:30 p.m. departure from Tampa at the Tampa Convention Center. The remaining schedule will include a departure from St. Petersburg at 2 p.m, depart Tampa at 3:30 p.m., depart St. Petersburg at 7 p.m. and depart Tampa at 8:30 p.m. Tickets and more information are available through the Cross-Bay Ferry website.

Tampa’s Valet Living acquires waste and recycling company

Valet Living, a Tampa-based company that provides amenities for the multifamily housing industry, has acquired Trojan Waste Solutions, a Texas firm that offering doorstep waste and recycle pick up. Financial terms were not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal. With the purchase, Valet Living adds more than 10,000 apartment homes to its portfolio, primarily in San Antonio and Austin, Texas.  Trojan Waste also serves communities in FloridaNorth Carolina and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Valet Living said it would expand its full suite of amenity services to apartment communities in the Trojan Waste portfolio. 

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