WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG), one of the largest companies in the Tampa-St. Pete area, won't be a stand-alone independent business for much longer. The managed healthcare company is being acquired by Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) for $17.3 billion. Centene and WellCare announced Wednesday morning that they have satisfied all regulatory requirements to complete the pending transaction, including review by the U.S. Department of Justice. The two companies expect to close the transaction on or about Jan. 23, a news release said. At the same time, WellCare is expected to complete divesting its Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri and its Medicaid plan in Nebraska, while Centene divests its Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans in Illinois. The combined company will be based at Centene's St. Louis headquarters and will have about 22 million members across all 50 states.
Clearwater cybersecurity training company KnowBe4 said it would donate $250,000 to Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. Funds will be used to create a scholarship fund, to establish and grow a cybersecurity law program, and to provide security awareness training to employees The donation is an opportunity to contribute to the community and help fill the need to educate and train more cybersecurity talent, Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 CEO, said in a news release.
Lucky's Market will shut down all but one of its Florida stores, according to a report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Twenty stores will close as of Feb. 12, and that list apparently includes including Lucky's Market in Tyrone Square, which opened in June 2018. Only the West Melbourne store will remain open in Florida. A request for additional information from Lucky's corporate headquarters was pending return. In December, grocery giant Kroger said it would divest its interest in Lucky's, a Boulder, Colorado-based natural food retailer.
HealthHUB, CVS Health's new store design, has debuted in nine CVS Pharmacy locations across the Tampa-St. Pete area. The new store format features a broader range of health care services to help patients better manage chronic conditions, more products and services focused on overall health and wellness, and trusted advice and personalized care, a news release said. CVS Health has 53 HealthHUB locations operational in five states and plans to bring its HealthHUB store format to 17 states in the first part of 2020 as part of its national expansion.The nine local stores are:
Marxent, a St. Petersburg-based technology company, has a new content partnership with Regina Andrew, a lighting and home decor design firm in Detroit. Regina Andrew will provide 500 distinct, high-end lighting and decor products to retailers through Marxent's 3D Cloud content network, a news release said. Retailers will be able to include the Regina Andrew products in 3D room planners and other applications. Regina Andrew is the first lighting manufacturer to syndicate products through the Marxent 3D cloud. Regina Andrew 3D content will be available to all Marxent 3D Cloud subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, following an initial rollout to Macy’s mobile augmented reality app and IRL 3D Room Planner application.
Raymond James Financial, Tech Data Corp. and WellCare Health Plans Inc. are on Fortune's new list of "most admired" companies. Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) in St. Petersburg ranks No. 248 on the list and No. 3 in the securities and asset management industry. Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) in Clearwater ranks No. 289 on the list and No. 2 in the wholesalers: electronics and office equipment category. WellCare (NYSE: WCG) in Tampa ranks No. 320 on the list and No. 5 in the healthcare: insurance and managed care industry. Publix Super Markets Inc, a grocery chain based in Lakeland, is No. 48 on the list and No. 1 in the food and drugstores category. Fortune polled nearly 3,800 industry executives, directors and analysts to develop the list. See the full list here.
Mainsail Lodging & Development, a Tampa-based hospitality company, is opening Mainsail Corporate Housing, the company's first brand entry into the corporate housing industry. The expansion comes on the heels of Mainsail's Jan. 1 acquisition of Commonwealth Corporate Suites, a news release said. The new Mainsail Corporate Housing will initially serve the Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina markets. Leading efforts to establish the new brand in Virginia and the Carolinas is Sarah Everhart, vice president of Mainsail Corporate Housing and former president of Commonwealth Corporate Suites.
First Citrus Bancorporation Inc. will pay a special cash dividend to all shareholders. The board of directors decided Jan. 16 to pay the 40-cent special cash dividend per share to all holders of common, Class A Preferred, and Class B Preferred stock, a news release said. The dividend is payable on March 4 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 18, 2020. The dividend represents a 60 percent increase over the special cash dividend paid during the first quarter of 2019, according to First Citrus (OTC: FCIT), the Tampa-based parent company of First Citrus Bank, with $416 million as of Sept. 30.
A fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is in advanced talks to acquire AquaVenture Holdings Ltd.’s water-treatment business, Seven Seas Water, for more than $500 million, according to a report from Bloomberg. The Morgan Stanley funder would buy the business — which develops, owns and operates water production and wastewater treatment plants — from Culligan, a company backed by Advent International Corp. Last month, Culligan agreed to buy Tampa-based AquaVenture (NYSE: WAAS) in a deal valued at about $1.1 billion including debt.
Honeywell was awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to support production of NASA's Orion spacecraft fleet for the upcoming Artemis missions. The contract will be managed and performed out of Honeywell's facility in Clearwater, with work also conducted at the company's facilities in Glendale, Arizona, and Puerto Rico. The Artemis missions will bring humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972. Honeywell will provide 14 product types for Artemis missions III through V, including both hardware and software solutions, to support NASA's lunar missions. "This is a major win for our team in Clearwater, our Space business and for Honeywell as a whole," Mike Elias, vice president, Space, Honeywell Aerospace, said in a news release.
Florida Funders raised $1.045 million for flexEngage, an Orlando company that uses receipt marketing and a transactional email service. The Florida Funders Impact Fund provided $500,000, with the balance of $545,000 coming from Florida Funders accredited investor network, a news release said. flexEngage offers a wide portfolio of products, including personalized digital receipts that allow retailers to capture better customer data, as well as printed offers to drive loyalty and repeat purchases. Companies working with flexEngage have seen significantly increased post-sales transactions using their marketing tools, Tom Wallace, managing partner for Florida Funders, said in the release.
Southeastern Grocers Inc. said it will close the Winn-Dixie grocery store at 7489 4th St. N. in St. Petersburg. The store is scheduled to close on or before Monday, Feb. 10, a statement from the company said. "We realize that the closure of an underperforming store in your community can be challenging. We do not take these decisions lightly, and only make this tough choice after careful consideration of its impact on our associates and our customers has been made," the statement said. The company also said it would make"difficult decisions" that would impact some workers. Southeastern Grocers is the parent company several grocery chains, including Winn-Dixie, and one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the U.S.