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VOL. 122 | NO. 245 | Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Daily Digest

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Lamar Ave. Gas Station Sells for $2.1 Million

     Lamar Petroleum Inc., which lists a Collierville address, has bought a gas station and 3,256-square-foot convenience store at 2306 Lamar Ave. for $2.1 million. The seller is Mid-South C-Stores LLC.
     Lamar Petroleum financed the purchase with $38,000 and $880,000 loans through the seller. In addition, Mid-South C-Stores assigned to Lamar Petroleum a loan through First Capital Bank for nearly $875,000, the remaining principal on Mid-South C-Stores' $900,000 loan taken out in April.
     The 3,256-square-foot convenience store was built in 1998 and sits on .9 acres at the northwest corner of Lamar Avenue and Airways Boulevard. Mid-South C-Stores bought the property in April for $750,000, and the Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $603,500.
     The station will sell Texaco-branded gasoline supplied by Graves Oil Co., according to an agreement filed with the Shelby County Register alongside sale and loan deeds.
     Lamar Petroleum representatives could not be reached by press time.

Despite Bankruptcy, Captain D's Won't Halt Business, SERVE Says

     The day after filing for federal bankruptcy reorganization, executives of Memphis-based SERVE Holdings LLC said the filing will have no effect on day-to-day business at the 23 Captain D's Seafood franchises the company owns in Memphis and the Mid-South.
     "The restructure will allow us to exit our most unprofitable units and therefore free up cash flow to reinvest in the business," said Clarence A. Mitchell III, president and CEO of SERVE, in a written statement. "Going forward, we will concentrate solely on our highest-performing restaurants. We are committed to the Captain D's brand, which we believe will thrive in the future."
     SERVE, which was formed in 2003, has been the largest Captain D's franchisee in the nation. The company announced in April it had the rights to build up to 15 Del Taco restaurants in the Mid-South - the first in the south for the second largest Tex-Mex restaurant chain in the U.S. The post-filing statement from Mitchell makes no mention of the Del Taco venture.
     SERVE filed Dec. 19 for Chapter 11 reorganization.
     To read The Daily News' original story on the bankruptcy, see Friday's issue at www.memphisdailynews.com.

EPA Releases Hazard Results For Two Area Industrial Sites

     The United States Environmental Protection Agency is making available to the public certain files from its recent study of environmental hazards at two industrial sites in Memphis, according to public notices published in The Daily News.
     The first is the Vertut Blending and Packaging site at 2100 Hernando Road. The other site is that of American Drum and Pallet at 806 Walnut Street.
     Both sites presented numerous public health concerns, among them the presence of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. EPA documents being made public about the sites include inspection reports, test results and action memoranda.
     Public review of the files is being split between locations in Memphis and Atlanta, according to information from the EPA. In Memphis, documents pertaining to the Vertut site may be reviewed at the public library at 1929 South Third St.
     At the end of a 30-day public comment period, responses will be compiled into a summary and placed in the administrative file.
     To read the full text of the notices, visit the Public Notices section of The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Medtronic Sells Bartlett Facility To Sandvik Medical Solutions

     Medtronic Inc.'s Memphis-based Spinal and Biologics business is streamlining its Bartlett manufacturing facility.
     As part of the streamlining, the company is selling its small specialty instrument manufacturing operation to Sandvik Medical Solutions, a medical contract manufacturer, which is part of the Swedish Sandvik Group. In addition, Medtronic will also move its purchasing, receiving and quality functions of the operation from Bartlett to the company's expanding Development and Logistics Center (DLC) facilities on Swinnea Road. The total transitioning should take about 14 months to complete.
     Sandvik Medical Solutions is moving its North American medical technology headquarters to Memphis. And Sandvik Solutions has assured employees of job offers with a similar level of service, salaries and benefits they received from Medtronic.
     The transaction is expected to close in January.

First Horizon Adjusts Outlook Because of Tight Market

     First Horizon National Corp. has announced changes in its outlook for fourth quarter 2007 because of the increasing softness and volatility in residential construction lending and mortgage banking.
     First Horizon expects to set aside an additional $150 million in anticipation of unpaid loans. The bank also expects to write off $50 million in loans at the end of the fourth quarter.
     This provision prepares for defaults from residential developers who borrowed money to buy properties in Florida, California, Virginia, Georgia and Nevada.
     The bank expects pressure on its home-equity loan business because of the housing squeeze.
     First Horizon expects to record an approximately $70 million "goodwill adjustment" to its mortgage business for the quarter. Goodwill reflects the value of a company's brand and reputation, and a goodwill write-down implies a fundamental deterioration in the value of a business.

MPACT Memphis Moves To New Downtown HQ

     Beginning Jan. 1, MPACT Memphis will have a new address. The organization is moving its offices from Tennessee Street to 22 N. Front St., Suite 160.
     The nonprofit organization has been at its Tennessee Street address since its inception six years ago.
     MPACT Memphis is a group of professionals younger than 40 who seek to become more involved in their community through networking events.
     Over the past six years, the members of MPACT Memphis have completed a long list of projects, events and campaigns to foster a new level of social, political and cultural engagement among young professionals in the community.

State Unemployment Up In November

     Tennessee's unemployment rate for November was 4.9 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from October, according to the latest information from Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley.
     In 2006 the November unemployment rate was 5.0 percent.
     The national unemployment rate for November 2007 was 4.7 percent, the same as October.
     October-to-November gains were seasonal, with retail trade increasing by 9,200; professional and business services employment increasing by 1,700; and local government educational services increasing by 1,100. Month-to-month declines included leisure and hospitality, down 2,700, and slight decreases in construction, down 200.
     Over-the-year increases led with gains of 7,100 jobs in educational and health services. Construction employment increased by 7,000 and leisure and hospitality jobs were up 6,300. Manufacturing jobs were down from a year ago with employment decreasing by 8,900; clothing and accessories stores lost 1,600 jobs; and professional and business services employment declined by 1,600 as well.
PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365