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VOL. 126 | NO. 147 | Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Digest

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Thousand Oaks Owner Files $21.3 Million Loan

Talcott III Thousand Oaks LP, the local affiliate of Hartford, Conn.-based Talcott Realty Investors, has filed a $21.3 million mortgage on Thousand Oaks Business Park. Talcott filed the loan July 20 through People’s United Bank.

The company bought the sprawling office complex near Perkins Road and Interstate 240 for $28.6 million in 2005 from Glenborough Realty Trust Inc.

Glenborough had bought the property, whose addresses are 2600, 2620 and 2650 Thousand Oaks Blvd., in December 1997 for $34.5 million.

The Thousand Oaks complex comprises 31.14 acres, three four-story office buildings totaling 432,016 square feet and a 10-acre parcel containing parking spaces and a lake.

The 2650 Thousand Oaks parcel is the oldest and largest. Built in 1985, it contains 182,317 square feet and has an appraised value of $9.2 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 data. The 2600 Thousand Oaks parcel was built in 1988; it contains 126,582 square feet and has an appraised value of $5.9 million. And the 2620 Thousand Oaks parcel was built in 1989; it contains 123,117 square feet and has an appraised value of $5.9 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– The Daily News staff

Varsity Brands Merges with Herff Jones

Memphis-based Varsity Brands Inc., a provider of education training and equipment for the school spirit market, has reached an agreement to merge with Herff Jones, a manufacturer and publisher of educational products, recognition awards and graduation-related items.

Merger talks got under way several months ago. Varsity Brands will continue to operate independently, with its own board led by Jeff Webb as chairman and CEO.

Varsity, which has offices in Memphis, Dallas and Los Angeles, has 900 full-time employees nationwide, with an additional work force of 4,000 during their summer training camp season.

Terms were not disclosed.

– Andy Meek

Morgan Keegan Mentioned in National Ranking

Memphis-based Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. was the eighth leading underwriter of negotiated municipal bond issues in the country in the first six months of 2011, according to Thomson Reuters.

Morgan Keegan served as book running manager on 99 issues with a par value of $3.1 billion. Morgan Keegan also ranked sixth nationally in competitive transactions with 116 issues and a par value of $966 million.

The firm is ranked ninth nationally overall, serving as senior manager on 215 issues with a par value of $4.1 billion.

Morgan Keegan continues to lead municipal bond underwriting in a six-state region of the U.S. that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. The firm served as senior manager on 75 issues with a par value of $1.1 billion, capturing an 18 percent market share.

In the 10-state Southeast region that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Morgan Keegan was the leading municipal bond underwriter in terms of number of completed transactions.

The firm senior managed 81 issues with a par amount of $1.6 billion.

– Andy Meek

Churches, National Orgs Support St. George’s Camp

St. George’s Independent School’s Camp Dragon was made possible this summer by the support of three churches and two national organizations despite the bad economy.

The summer camp was designed for urban students enrolled at the school’s Memphis campus. The entities supporting the Camp Dragon this summer include: The National Association of Episcopal Schools, Calvary Episcopal Church, Holy Communion Episcopal Church and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in conjunction with the Episcopal Diocese’s Church Home Grant.

St. George’s Independent School started Camp Dragon five years ago to keep students from learning loss over the summer time. Studies show learning loss is greater in urban areas and among at-risk students during the summer. Camp Dragon was offered for several weeks of this summer and ended this week.

The camp also builds important relational bonds that are critical to the start of school.

The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. supports St. George’s Independent Schools.

– Houston Cofield

Thompson Dunavant Announces Promotions

Thompson Dunavant PLC has promoted Mark Baricos, Mike Broy, John Drouillard and Bryan Koch, all CPAs, as new members effective July 1.

Baricos, who has more than 10 years of experience in public accounting, joined Thompson Dunavant in 2000 as a tax intern. He now manages the manufacturing industry segment of the firm.

Broy, who has more than 14 years of public accounting experience, began his career at Thompson Dunavant in 2001 as a senior auditor.

Drouillard joined Thompson Dunavant in 2008 as a tax manager. His primary areas of concentration are federal tax planning, compliance and accounting for income tax.

Koch began his career with Thompson Dunavant in 2000 as a tax intern. His focus areas include corporate, partnership and individual tax for family-owned and closely held businesses.

Thompson Dunavant announced earlier this week it has been acquired, effective Aug. 1, by two sister firms working together under an alternative practice arrangement – CBIZ Inc. and Mayer Hoffman McCann PC.

– Andy Meek

Wells Fargo Bank Under More Scrutiny

Wells Fargo & Co. is reportedly negotiating with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve a federal probe into whether the lender improperly steered black borrowers into high-cost loans – the same issue over which the lender has been sued by cities including Baltimore and Memphis.

The federal investigation is being carried out by the Justice Department’s civil rights division, according to a Bloomberg report. Worth noting is Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. traveled to Washington in early 2010 and while there he laid out the city’s case against Wells to Tom Perez, the assistant U.S. attorney general who heads the civil rights division.

In May, a local judge’s ruling allowed the joint city of Memphis and Shelby County case against Wells to survive Wells’ motion to dismiss the case. That case is still in the preliminary stages.

“Wells Fargo’s commitment is to serve all customers responsibly without bias,” said Wells spokeswoman Vickee Adams. “We are proud of the results found in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data of 2010 which showed that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage was the No. 1 lender to African-American and Hispanic families. We devote significant resources to work closely with a number of minority trade and consumer advocacy organizations to ensure that credit remains available to consumers across the credit spectrum.”

– Andy Meek

Lexington Asset Assists Big Brothers Big Sisters

With budget cuts hitting everywhere, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Memphis recently learned that they are losing a $300,000 federal grant.

That’s when Christian Brodin, president of Memphis-based Lexington Asset Management LLC, set a goal for his 90 employees to volunteer and help raise money to replace the grant money.

“Being a role model and mentor to a young person is one of the best ways I can give back to our community,” Brodin said in a release. “The organization has more than 200 youth on the waiting list, and our employees are eager to help. We are also starting a small venture fund to support young people with their business ideas, community project funding and tuition matching.”

In addition to financial contributions through payroll deductions, Lexington Asset Management’s employees are already planning a pool party, coat drive and food drive for the kids.

As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers and children.

Lexington Asset Management manages more than 3,000 apartment units in six states, including three properties with 724 units in Memphis.

– Sarah Baker

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270