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VOL. 122 | NO. 227 | Thursday, November 29, 2007

Daily Digest

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American Way Office Bldg. Sells to Out-of-State Investor

     A limited liability company incorporated in Nevada has bought a three-story office building near the former Mall of Memphis for $1.2 million. Horizon Enterprises-TN LLC bought the site at 4821 American Way Blvd. from Dilipkumar J. Kapadia and Alicia D. Kapadia, co-trustees of the Kapadia Family Trust.
     A $960,000 loan was filed through Lehman Brothers Bank FSB.
     Built in 1986, the nearly 24,000-square-foot building sits on 2.5 acres on the south side of American Way Boulevard east of Perkins Road in Linclay Park Planned Development.
     The Kapadias bought the property in 1999 for $940,000. The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $648,900.
     Horizon Enterprises-TN was incorporated as a domestic limited liability company in Nevada in July. A Horizon representative based in Costa Mesa, Calif., declined comment on the purchase.

Triton Lays Off Workers In Miss., Memphis

     ATM-maker Triton Systems has laid off workers at its Long Beach, Miss., headquarters and manufacturing plant and a small office in Memphis, but the company won't reveal how many.
     Human resources director Brian Goff said Tuesday's action was the first restructuring in about eight years. Without giving exact numbers, he said the cuts affected less than one-third of the staff.
     Goff said the cutbacks were necessary so the manufacturer could focus on its core business in North America, where its largest markets are.
     "Rather than chase business in other markets, we're going to focus on North America, the market that built this company," he said.
     Before Tuesday's layoffs, Triton had about 500 employees, some of them in Canada, Europe and Memphis.
     The jobs cut were made throughout the organization, Goff said, but were "more heavily on the professional side." Goff said there were a few cuts to the small staff at the Memphis service office.
     He said no more layoffs were planned.
     The layoffs, which were effective immediately, will not reduce production at the company's 88,000-square-foot plant in the Long Beach Industrial Park, Goff said.
     "We don't see any cutback in the level of production as far as units produced," he said.
     Triton is the second largest ATM maker in North America and the fourth largest in the world. There are 145,000 Triton units operating in 23 countries, according to the company.
     Triton was started in 1979 and was bought by publicly traded Dover Corp. in March 2000.

Existing Home Sales Fall For Eighth Straight Month

     Sales of existing homes fell for the eighth consecutive month in October, with median home prices falling by a record amount. Analysts blamed the worsening housing slump on the credit crunch that hit in August.
     The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 1.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units.
     The median price of a home sold last month declined to $207,800, a drop of 5.1 percent from a year ago, the biggest year-over-year price decline on record.
     Analysts blamed the October weakness on the fallout from a serious credit crunch that roiled financial markets in August. Banks and other lenders have tightened credit standards in response to a soaring level of defaults, especially on subprime mortgages, loans provided to borrowers with weak credit histories.
     The worry is that the credit crisis and a deepening housing slump could be enough to push the country into a recession.
     In another sign of spreading economic weakness, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that orders to factories for big-ticket manufactured goods declined by 0.4 percent in October. It was the third straight drop, the longest stretch of weakness in nearly four years.
     By region of the country, sales were unchanged in the Northeast and the South and down by 1.7 percent in the Midwest and 4.4 percent in the West.
     Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, said the big drop in the West reflected the fact that the market for so-called "jumbo mortgages," loans higher than $417,000, tightened considerably this summer. California, with its high home prices, depends heavily on the availability of jumbo loans.
     "Temporary mortgage problems were peaking back in August when many of the sales closed in October were being negotiated," Yun said. "We continue to see the biggest impact in high-cost markets that rely on jumbo loans."

Mallory Forms Supply Chain Group

     Memphis-based Mallory Alexander International Logistics has formed a supply chain management group called M-Pact Solutions.
     John Huggins, an executive with 21 years of experience designing and implementing supply chain solutions for manufacturing and logistics management clients, will serve as director of the new entity.
     M-Pact Solutions' supply chain experts develop strategies and provide the services and architecture needed by companies engaged in global commerce.
     "In today's world, companies must be concerned with much more than simply delivering products to domestic and international markets," Huggins said. "CEOs and other top management are now required to develop and maintain compliance and security strategies to protect not only stockholder interests, but the general population at any point along the transit. M-Pact Solutions client teams assess complicated situations, maneuver through regulatory hurdles, and implement solutions that meet both the letter of the law and the spirit of our clients' businesses."

Some Lawmakers Want Quicker Legislative Session

     Senate Republicans want to make another run at shortening the legislative session.
     Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said he doesn't see why the session needs to run as long as it did last year, when it ended June 12.
     "Potentially, we could reconvene on Jan. 8 and be done by April 9," he said. "There is no reason why we cannot begin doing business on the first legislative day we arrive."
     The last time the Legislature adjourned in April was in 1996.
     Republicans had similar hopes last year after Sen. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, became the first new speaker in more than three decades.
     But lawmakers in recent years have wanted to wait until they get final revenue projections in May before they get down to the serious business of passing the annual state budget.
     Legislators might have more of an incentive to complete their business in an election year. All 99 House seats and 16 of 33 Senate seats are up for election this year, and lawmakers are barred from raising campaign money during the session.
     Mark Brown, spokesman for the Senate Democratic Caucus, said Democrats also would like to see an April end to the session.
     "We always like to get things done as quickly as we can," he said.

Elvis Presley Enterprises Partners With St. Jude

     Elvis Presley Enterprises and Graceland have joined forces with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to support the hospital's fourth annual "Thanks and Giving" fundraising campaign.
     Continuing through Elvis' birthday weekend in January, visitors to the Graceland mansion as well as the elvis.com Web site will be encouraged to buy a "Thanks and Giving" pinup for $1. As each pinup is purchased, they will be displayed in the window of the Graceland ticket pavilion.
     Actress and St. Jude National Outreach Director Marlo Thomas created the campaign in 2004 with her siblings Terre Thomas and Tony Thomas, the children of hospital founder Danny Thomas.

McDonald Murrmann Center Moves to Racquet Club

     The McDonald Murrmann Center for Skin, Laser & Healthy Aging is moving to The Racquet Club of Memphis.
     The new office will allow the McDonald Murrmann Center to offer its customers a spa-like atmosphere more conducive to relaxation and rejuvenation, rather than feeling like another routine medical procedure, the company said.
     McDonald Murrmann's Racquet Club office will be headed by skincare specialist Sarah Carpenter, with assistant Miriam Dennie managing the administrative procedures and newly added esthetician Jeni Young providing spa services.
     The center will host a champagne celebration in honor of the new location Dec. 6 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Racquet Club, 5111 Sanderlin Ave.

Lenny's Launches Gift Card Program

     Memphis-based Lenny's Sub Shops earlier this month joined the $70 billion gift card industry with the launch of the Lenny's Gift Card Program. The start date was selected to coincide with the 2007 holiday shopping season.
     The Lenny's Gift Card Program allows guests to purchase gift cards in any amount, from $5 to $500. Gift cards may be used on all purchases in-store, including catering orders and the Lenny's signature Hot Pepper Relish.
     Guests can order new gift cards, as well as check the balances of and add value to gift cards online at www.lennys.com.
PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220