Lafarge Sells Presidents Island Property to Two Buyers

An affiliate of Chicago-based construction material supplier Lafarge North America has sold the industrial property at 2459 Channel Ave. on Presidents Island to two buyers for a combined $2.8 million.

Lafarge West Inc. sold the property, which has waterfront access on McKellar Lake, in two Oct. 10 special warranty deeds. Lafarge sold about 14 acres of the property to Cargill Inc. for $1.5 million and about 23 acres to Superior Bulk Logistics Inc. for 1.3 million.

Lafarge had acquired the property in 2011 for $2.8 million from Martin Marietta Materials Inc.

The industrial property contains a 7,483-square-foot warehouse and office building that was constructed in 1962; the parcel has a 2013 appraised value of $1.7 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

No financing was associated with the purchases.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

NovaCopy Seeks Tax Freeze to Expand

Nashville-based NovaCopy is seeking a tax freeze to expand to a larger building and add 30 employees.

The paper- and copier-supplies company plans to leave its location at Shelby Oaks to build a $4.8 million, 33,000-square-foot facility near Appling Farms and Whitten roads in Memphis, the company said in application to the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County.

The EDGE board will meet Wednesday, Oct. 16, to vote on the company’s request for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) freeze.

NovaCopy said its current facility could not accommodate the company’s growing workforce and 3D-printing business.

The project would save the company $402,959 in taxes over the four-year PILOT term while creating $580,776 in new tax revenue for the city and county

The average wage for the 30 new jobs is estimated to be $44,133.

NovaCopy has been in growth mode, acquiring two businesses over the past year, one in Jackson, Tenn., and another in Missouri. NovaCopy also has operations in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Dallas. The company also is discussing a new acquisition in Little Rock.

“If NovaCopy chooses the Jackson or Little Rock location, it will still remain active in Memphis, but instead of doubling its space it will reduce it by 50 percent,” the company said in the PILOT application. “Employment in Memphis would decrease from 50 to approximately 35, as regional headquarters would shift to the Jackson site.”

– Amos Maki

EM Printing Buys Jaco-Bryant Printers

EM Printing, a provider of printing solutions, has acquired commercial printing company Jaco-Bryant Printers Inc.

Bartlett-based EM Printing bought Jaco-Bryant from 3D-eyewear manufacturer American Paper Optics.

EM Printing generated more than $4.7 million in sales in 2012, and Jaco-Bryant grossed $3 million in sales that same year. The two companies’ combination will add 15 full-time employees to the EM Printing staff, maintaining all Jaco-Bryant customer-facing positions.

– Andy Meek

Martin Institute Begins New Teacher Network Sessions

The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence on Tuesday, Oct. 15, opens its set of six after-school conferences for educators in their first three years of teaching.

The New Teacher Network series begins with a session on classroom management, to be held on the campus of Presbyterian Day School, where the institute’s offices are located.

The goal of the New Teacher Network is to get new teachers from public and private schools in the region to talk and network about common classroom problems and receive coaching from more experienced teachers.

– Bill Dries

Wunderlich Initiates Coverage of Regions Financial Corp.

Memphis-based Wunderlich Securities Inc. has initiated coverage of financial services giant Regions Financial Corp with a “buy” rating.

Wunderlich also has put a 12- to 18-month price target of $12 on Regions shares.

“Although Regions suffered significant losses during the credit crisis and was late to the recovery game, management’s return to banking basics by simplifying the playbook and focusing on blocking and tackling is starting to pay off for Regions’ shareholders,” reads Wunderlich’s first analyst commentary about Regions. “With Regions shares trading at a meaningful discount to peers, we believe current levels offer an attractive opportunity for investors to acquire shares of one of the few remaining recovery stories that also happens to operate in the most populous and fastest-growing economic regions in the U.S.”

– Andy Meek

Tire-Maker Hankook to Build Tennessee Plant

South Korean tire-maker Hankook announced Monday that it will build its first North American plant in Tennessee, creating 1,800 jobs.

Hankook, the world's seventh-largest tire maker, said it will build the $800 million facility in Clarksville. Construction on the 1.5 million-square-foot facility is scheduled to begin by the end of next year, and it will begin making high-end performance tires by early 2016.

Seung Hwa Suh, Hankook's vice chairman and CEO, called the construction of the U.S. plant "the next natural phase for our continued growth." He told reporters that the decision to locate in Tennessee was the result of a year of discussions with state officials, and he cited the central location and existing auto industry as major factors.

"Tennessee is the center of America," he said. "From a logistical point of view, this is a very good location for us to distribute tires to American consumers."

Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen have assembly plants in Tennessee, and more than 900 further automotive sector companies are active in the state. Ford, GM and Toyota build vehicles in neighboring Kentucky.

"By supplying to major carmakers, our brand is getting better known in America," Suh said. The company supplies Ford, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, along with Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia.

Clarksville is also home to a steel cord plant for Japanese tire maker Bridgestone, which has its Americas headquarters in Nashville.

Not all the news has been good for the tire industry in Tennessee in recent years. Goodyear in 2011 shut its plant about 100 miles to the west in Union City, causing 1,800 workers to lose their jobs.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said officials showed Hankook several locations in the state.

The state offered $72 million in incentives to improve infrastructure, training and a cultural program to help Korean families integrate into the community. Local governments approved another package worth $50 million.

– The Associated Press

New Tennessee Prescription Drug Law in Effect This Month

Beginning this month, prescriptions for opioid pain medicines and benzodiazepine medicines may not be dispensed in Tennessee in quantities that exceed a 30-day supply.

The new limits apply to anyone dispensing the drugs. That includes pharmacies, dispensaries and mail-order programs located outside the state.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, some of the drugs limited under the new law are Lortab, Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanax and Valium.

For Schedule II medicines, each 30-day supply requires a new prescription. For other drugs, a single prescription can be refilled in 30-day increments for up to six months.

The new law is part of a statewide effort to reduce prescription drug abuse.

Tennesseans who need help with a drug problem can call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789.

– The Associated Press

Nearly 1,100 Arkansas Employees Furloughed

Arkansas finance officials say nearly 1,100 state employees are on furlough because of the federal government shutdown, but say that number could change as they double-check figures with individual agencies.

Richard Weiss, director of the state Department of Finance and Administration, on Monday said that 1,089 state employees whose positions are paid for with federal funds were idled because of the shutdown that began Oct. 1. State agencies were warned last week that the number of furloughs would rise since Arkansas no longer had the resources to cover for the federal programs affected.

Weiss says the number of idled workers could change as his department checks figures provided by agencies and as agencies review whether they can use leftover grant money to pay employees.

– The Associated Press