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VOL. 123 | NO. 30 | Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Daily Digest

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Schnucks-Related Group Buys Lots on Holmes Road

     Riverdale CEC LLC has purchased three lots in the Cypress Southern Commercial Development Planned Development on Holmes Road in two transactions for a combined $2.4 million.
     Riverdale CEC bought two lots totaling 3.6 acres from Louisiana-based Gumbo Holdings II LLC for $627,786. It bought a nine-acre lot from Louisiana-based Flatiron I LLC for $1.8 million.
     The lots are outparcels on property at the southeast corner of Holmes and Riverdale roads. Riverdale CEC is an affiliate of St. Louis-based DESCO Group, which was formed by the brothers who built the Schnucks grocery chain. DESCO stands for Don and Ed Schnuck Co.
     This latest transaction comes on the heels of a recent, related purchase by Schnuck Markets Inc. The company paid $3 million for 15.4 acres of commercial property near Riverdale and Holmes roads, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. The acreage included five tracts of land.
     Two of the tracts had long-term ground leases with Schnucks, which bought the property in a sealed bid auction. That transaction closed Jan. 9.
     A call to DESCO Group was not returned by press time.

Three More Foreclosures Filed Against Alexander

     Three more first-run foreclosure notices have been filed for properties owned by Charles W. Alexander. The notices appear starting on Page 28 in the foreclosure section of today's Daily News.
     SunTrust Mortgage Inc. is the owner and holder of defaulted loans for 115 E. Dempster Ave. and 805 Hudson St. JPMorgan Chase Bank is the owner and holder of a defaulted mortgage on 3543 Kendrick Road.
     The properties are scheduled to be sold in foreclosure auctions in March.
     The loans for the East Dempster Avenue and Kendrick Road properties were taken out in October 2005; the Hudson Street property was mortgaged in November 2005.
     All of the properties are subject to a tax lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service in October 2006 for $1,247.10. 
     Alexander is listed on the Tennessee Secretary of State Business Information site as the registered agent for ASIC Inc., a real estate brokerage company with a residential Germantown address. ASIC Inc. was administratively dissolved in late 2004, according to the site.
     The Secretary of State's site shows ASIC Inc.'s principal address as 3415 Bedford Lane in Germantown.  This property is a residence that was sold to Brenda Smedley by Charles W. and Patricia Alexander on April 30, 2007, for $864,000, according to the Shelby County Register.  A mortgage deed release was signed Dec. 27, releasing Charles W. and Patricia Alexander from their mortgage on the property, which was taken out from Heritage Banking Group on Sept. 29, 2006. 
     An online search turns up a Collierville address for ASIC's office. Calls to a number listed with the Collierville address were not answered.
     The registered agent address on the Secretary of State's site, 494 N. Hollywood St., is that of Great American Homes of Tennessee Inc., according to an online search, although a number for Great American Homes has been disconnected.
     Ten first-run foreclosure notices on properties owned by Alexander appeared in the Feb. 12 issue. For more information on those properties, visit www.memphisdailynews.com.

County Government Restructures Debt

     Shelby County government is getting a better interest rate with the restructuring of part of its $1.7 billion debt through 2022.
     The Shelby County Board of Commissioners Monday approved the issuance of nearly $121.5 million in general obligation bonds. It's a $120 million bond swap for bonds that now are costing the county 5 percent in interest. The new fixed rate is 4.66 percent.
     As an incentive to go for the restructuring of its debt, county government receives a payment of $8 million from the bond companies that will go into the county's debt service fund. The administrative cost of the $120 million swap is $327,000. The remainder over the $120 million also goes into the debt service fund.
     Paying off the county's debt, most of it from the financing of new school construction and renovation for the city and county school systems, has been the dominant goal of the administration of Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. In fact, it was his goal even when Wharton was running for the county's top job in 2002.
     County Finance Director Mike Swift said the county's debt peaked at nearly $1.85 billion at the end of 2006 and stood at $1.78 billion at the end of June 2007.

First Horizon Completes 10-Branch Transaction

     Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. has completed a transaction involving the sale of 10 First Horizon branches in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
     The sale, which closed Friday, was to Sterling Bank.
     In all, First Horizon has sold 25 branches since early December.
     The sale of 13 First Horizon Bank branches in Northern Virginia and Maryland to M&T Bank, a subsidiary of M&T Bank Corp., closed Dec. 7. And the sale of two Georgia branches - in Dallas, Ga., and Douglasville, Ga. - to wholly owned subsidiaries of FMCB Holdings Inc. closed on Dec. 7 as well.
     The sales are part of an ongoing effort at First Horizon to redeploy capital to its higher-return businesses, particularly First Tennessee Bank, which has the largest business and consumer market share in Tennessee, bank officials said in a statement.
     Although three of the four deals announced in September closed as scheduled, a fourth sale of nine Atlanta-area First Horizon Bank branches did not close because of a dispute between the two parties in the transaction.
     The branches were to be sold to Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati.
     The sale of the Atlanta branches was scheduled to close last week, but on the day the sale was supposed to be finalized, First Horizon said that it was backing out of the deal.
     Ohio-based Fifth Third filed a lawsuit Friday against First Horizon. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, asks the court to order First Horizon to go through with the sale.
     Neither side has spoken publicly about details of the dispute.

Thomas & Betts Q4 Earnings Fall

     Memphis-based electrical components maker Thomas & Betts Corp. said Monday its fourth-quarter earnings fell 5 percent, hurt by charges related to recent acquisitions.
     The company earned $48.3 million, or 83 cents per share, compared to $50.9 million, or 84 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
     Thomas & Betts said its net interest expense increased by $7 million in the 2007 quarter, mostly due to recent acquisitions.
     Revenue increased 24 percent to $602.4 million, from $485.6 million a year earlier.
     Thomas & Betts said revenue growth was driven by demand in industrial and commercial markets and price increases.
     For the full year, the company posted a profit of $183.2 million, or $3.12 per share, compared to $175.1 million, or $2.85 per share, in 2006.
     Revenue rose 14 percent to $2.14 billion.
     While acknowledging the possibility of a continued weakness in residential construction, the company said it expects to earn $3.80 per share to $3.95 per share for the year.

Memphis-Based ARS Buys Assets of 24/7 Service Corp.

     In an effort to build a nationwide HVAC and plumbing industry footprint, Memphis-based American Residential Services LLC (ARS) has bought the assets of 24/7 Service Corp., which operates Yes! Air Conditioning, Yes! Plumbing and Sunset Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning.
     ARS has about 4,000 employees and is a privately held provider of heating, air conditioning and plumbing services across the country. ARS is owned by CI Capital Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, and Royal Palm Capital Partners Inc., a private equity investment and management firm.

Girls Inc. of Memphis To Hold Father-Daughter Dance

     Girls Inc. of Memphis will hold the second annual Miss Red and White Ball this weekend.
     The father-daughter dance event takes place Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. at the Cunningham Community Center, 3773 Allen Road.
     During the event, Girls Inc. also will recognize and crown Miss Red and White for the upcoming year. The evening will include a dance contest, photos, raffles and food.
     "This is a time for the men in our community to step up and be a positive male figure in a girl's life, even if just for one night," said Netisha Burnett, manager of program services.
     Tickets cost $5 per person or $7 per couple.
PROPERTY SALES 70 70 1,045
MORTGAGES 79 79 1,199