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VOL. 121 | NO. 208 | Monday, October 23, 2006

Daily Digest

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Double A to Open Its First BP Station

     Double A Oil Co. LLC has bought a former Exxon station at the northeast corner of East Shelby Drive and Riverdale Road for nearly $1 million with plans to open a BP-branded station.
     Bennett V. York and Anderson-Tully Co. owned the property and had been leasing it to ExxonMobil Corp. since 1988, with a clause granting ExxonMobil the right to buy the property. Double A acquired the property and its improvements - such as buildings and underground tanks - through two sales, paying $775,000 to York and Anderson-Tully, along with $177,360 to ExxonMobil.
     "Actually we dealt solely with Exxon, and they worked out the purchase from the lease," said Gerald Alexander, partner in Double A Oil Co. The store had been closed for two or three years, he said.
     The purchase was financed with a $1.2 million loan through BankPlus.
     Double A has owned Phillips 66 and unbranded gas stations before, but this will be the company's first BP, Alexander said. He and partner David Asbell are hoping to open the newly branded BP by the middle of December, but those aren't the company's only plans.
     "We're actually talking to Exxon about buying maybe more of their stations, and then we've also bought a 4-acre corner at the corner of Kirby-Whitten and Reese Road. We're fixing to build a BP there and a strip shopping center."

AmSouth to Sell 52 Bank Branches

     Birmingham, Ala.-based AmSouth Bancorp. plans to sell 52 of its branches in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama to comply with antitrust requirements related to its pending merger with Regions Financial Corp., AmSouth officials announced late last week.
     The divesture of the branches, which have deposits totaling $2.7 billion, was required by the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure the merger of the two banks would not create unfair competition in certain markets in which both have significant presences.
     Sale of the branches will be contingent on the completion of the proposed merger between AmSouth and Regions, officials said in the statement. The merger is expected to close in November.
     The Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve decided which branches would be sold. Many of the branches that will be sold are in Alabama. Of the seven that will be sold in Tennessee, none is in Memphis.
     Regions Financial Corp., which also is headquartered in Birmingham, has about 1,300 branches in the South, Midwest and Texas. AmSouth has more than 680 branches throughout Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia.
     Earlier this month, shareholders of both banking institutions approved the merger that first was announced in May. The merger will create one of the nation's 10 largest bank holding companies with assets of about $140 billion, officials said.
     The combined company will bear the name Regions Financial.
     Regions is the parent company of Memphis-based Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. and is the second-largest bank in Memphis with 62 branches and 4,250 employees.

CCC's Diversity Program Receives International Honor

     The Memphis Center City Commission recently received an international award for its Minority Outreach Program.
     The International Downtown Association (IDA) honored the program with its Special Achievement in Diversity Award at a conference in Portland, Ore., earlier this month.
     The CCC's W/MBE (Women and Minority Business Enterprise) committee is comprised of members from the CCC board and its affiliate boards. The program was initiated in 2003 as a way to increase minority involvement in the development of Downtown Memphis.
     "The diversity award is validation of the Center City Commission's commitment to ensure diverse inclusion in projects which have vastly altered the landscape of Downtown Memphis," Memphis City Council member Barbara Swearengen Holt said in a statement. Holt also is chair of the CCC's W/MBE committee.
     Results from the outreach show that minority developers are beginning to take a visible role in Downtown growth, officials said in the statement.
     Self Tucker Architects Inc., which is 100 percent minority-owned, is transforming the historic Universal Life Insurance Building on Linden Avenue into 20,000 square feet of office space. And Lee's Landing, a $10 million retail, entertainment and parking facility in the works near FedExForum, has a 73 percent minority ownership group.
     Jeff Sanford, president of the CCC, was named chairman of the IDA at the same conference. He is the second Memphian to take office as IDA chair. John Dudas, vice president and director of strategic planning for Belz Enterprises, served as IDA chair during his tenure as CCC president in 1987.

'Mean Green' Parent Company Plans Merger, Acquisition

     New York-based GS AgriFuels Corp., which is opening its Mean Green Biofuels production facility in Memphis, plans to merge with its sister company, GS Energy Corp., according to an announcement.
     The merger, which is expected to be completed in early 2007, is subject to the approval of GS Energy's shareholders.
     GreenShift Corp., which currently owns about 90 percent of GS AgriFuels and about 80 percent of GS Energy in the form of preferred stock, will exchange its GS Energy stock for GS AgriFuels stock. The result of the exchange will mean that GreenShift will own about 85 percent of GS AgriFuels after completion of the merger.
     The merger will raise the number of GS AgriFuel's common stock to 31 million shares.
     Warnecke Design Service, Inc., GS Energy's specialty equipment manufacturing company, will be brought into GS AgriFuels to help manufacture the company's fuel production infrastructure.
     Calls to GS AgriFuels were not returned by press time.
     GS AgriFuels also recently entered into an agreement to acquire NextGen, which manufactures biodiesel processing equipment, for $20 million. The acquisition is subject to GS AgriFuels' completion of financing and may be terminable if it does not close by Nov. 15, officials said in the statement.
     The company plans to build a production facility, Mean Green Biofuels, in Memphis at 2727 Riverport Road. The plant could be operational in 2007. The facility will produce 10 million gallons of biodiesel and 5 million gallons of ethanol, methanol or biomass-derived synthetic diesel each year.
     For more information about the Memphis plant, read The Daily News' Oct. 6 lead story at www.memphisdailynews.com.
PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468