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VOL. 129 | NO. 245 | Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daily Digest

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In-Rel Sells Two Memphis Office Buildings for $16.8 Million

Affiliates of Clark Tower owner In-Rel Properties Inc. have sold two of the company’s other Memphis office buildings to a private equity firm for $16.8 million as part of a larger portfolio.

New York-based Mount Kellett Capital Management bought Poplar Towers at 6263 Poplar Ave. from Poplar Towers LLC for $8.7 million, or $67.01 per square foot. The firm also bought the Lipscomb & Pitts Building at 2670 Union Ave. Extended from L&P Building Owner LLC for $8.1 million, or $57.76 per square foot.

The 129,533-square-foot Poplar Towers, built in 1973, is situated on 3.7 acres on the south side of Poplar Avenue between Ridgeway and West Massey roads. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $6.1 million.

The 139,388-square-foot Lipscomb & Pitts Building, built in 1975, is situated on 2.2 acres on the west side of Union Avenue Extended, south of Poplar. The assessor’s 2014 appraisal is $4.8 million.

In-Rel Properties continues to own the iconic 33-story Clark Tower on Poplar Avenue, as well as Lynnfield Office Park and the 2400 Poplar building, according to the company’s website.

Mount Kellett, which was founded by former Goldman Sachs executive Mark McGoldrick, focuses its investments on global distressed, special situations and opportunistic investing. The firm currently manages approximately $7 billion.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Evaporcool Partners with Kemmons Wilson Cos.

Evaporcool Solutions, a Memphis-based manufacturer of commercial aftermarket HVAC efficiency systems, has announced a new partnership with Kemmons Wilson Cos.

Evaporcool’s product makes air-conditioning and refrigeration systems more energy-efficient and helps reduce the clients’ carbon footprint, saving the client money and lowering maintenance costs. Evaporcool’s management determined that the company was at the right stage for a strategic partner, and after a national search, Evaporcool decided to work locally with Kemmons Wilson Cos.

Kemmons Wilson Cos. will be providing not only capital for growth but also strategic and tactical guidance by playing an active role in the business.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee Funding Board Projects Lower Growth

The State Funding Board projects that Tennessee revenue growth will slow down in the upcoming budget year.

Under revenue estimates adopted by the panel on Tuesday, the state’s general fund would grow 2.6 percent to 3 percent in the budget year that begins on July 1. That compares with a revised projection for the current budget year’s collections to grow 3.85 percent to 4.2 percent.

At the top of the range of the projections, the state’s general fund would grow by $409 million in the current budget year and by $304 million in the next.

The Revenue Department estimates that the phase-out of the state inheritance tax will cause those collections to be $34 million next year, down from $107 million in the 2013-2014 budget year.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Opposes Supreme Court Gay Marriage Hearing

The Tennessee attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let a ruling stand that upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The November decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marked a rare victory for gay marriage opponents. But because it conflicts with decisions in other circuits, legal observers believe it could push the Supreme Court to take up the issue of gay marriage, possibly as soon as this spring.

In a Monday court filing, Tennessee argues that there is no need for the Supreme Court to review the case because both the 6th Circuit’s opinion and Supreme Court precedent recognize the inherent power of the states to define marriage. There is no conflict between the 6th Circuit and the Supreme Court, attorneys argue. As for the conflict between the circuits, the Supreme Court declines to hear cases all the time in which that is the case.

“The decision of the Sixth Circuit thus upholds and affirms Tennessee’s ‘historic and essential authority to define the marital relation,’” the brief reads, quoting from an earlier Supreme Court decision.

The 6th Circuit’s 2-1 opinion affecting Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio said states have the right to set rules for marriage. And it said that changing a definition of marriage that dates to “the earliest days of human history” is better done through the political process, not the courts.

– The Associated Press

Yamaha Jet Boat to Grow Tennessee Plant, Add 150 Jobs

Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing USA is expanding its production facility in East Tennessee, creating 150 new jobs.

The company announced it will spend about $18 million to buy a 36,000-square-foot building next to its current plant in Vonore that will be used for offices and production.

The company plans to begin operating in the new location by the end of next year, with production scheduled to begin in the second half of 2016.

State economic development officials planned to seek approval from the State Funding Board on Tuesday for a Fast Track grant of $870,000 for Yamaha to expand.

Yamaha is the largest manufacturer of 19- to 24-foot sport boats in the United States. The company last expanded its operations in Monroe County last year.

– The Associated Press

Apple Wins Class-Action iPod Price Lawsuit

After just a few hours of deliberation, a jury in California found in favor of Apple on Tuesday in a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit over the price of its iPod music players.

The eight-member jury in U.S. District Court rejected a claim by attorneys for consumers and iPod resellers, who argued that Apple’s use of restrictive software amounted to anticompetitive behavior aimed at freezing out competing makers of portable music players. Apple had argued that the software provided necessary security protection and was part of a larger package of features that made its iPods and iTunes music store popular with consumers.

Apple applauded the verdict in a statement: “We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music. Every time we’ve updated those products – and every Apple product over the years – we’ve done it to make the user experience even better.”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they plan to appeal. “We’re glad we got this to the jury,” said attorney Bonny Sweeney, who had argued on behalf of the estimated 8 million consumers who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009. But she asserted that a ruling by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, kept the jury from considering the full effect of the iTunes software update that was the focus of the trial.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047