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VOL. 130 | NO. 197 | Friday, October 9, 2015

Daily Digest

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Commercial Appeal Parent Company Sold to Gannett

Only a few months after The Commercial Appeal got a new corporate parent – Journal Media Group – the Memphis daily is set to get another.

Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today and other newspapers around the U.S. including The Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tenn., and The Tennessean in Nashville, has reached a deal to buy Commercial Appeal parent Journal Media Group for about $280 million.

The deal adds The Commercial Appeal and Journal Media Group’s other papers to Gannett’s stable of 92 small- and mid-market dailies around the country. Among the results: Gannett now dominates print coverage in Tennessee, with newspaper holdings across the state’s major markets.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

For The Commercial Appeal, the deal marks another new owner in less than a year.

The paper had been added to a batch of newspapers that includes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a previous deal that merged the newspaper properties of Journal Communciations and E.W. Scripps into one company. The companies’ broadcast assets went into another.

That merger occurred on April 1.

– Andy Meek

Two Warehouses Acquired In Major National Deal

Denver-based Northstar Commercial Partners, a privately held commercial real estate investment company, purchased two warehouse storage facilities in south Memphis for $5.2 million, according to a special warranty deed signed Sept. 29.

The company announced Thursday, Oct. 8, that they, along with ALTO Real Estate Funds, acquired 24 properties across the U.S. for a total purchase price of $224 million.

Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Silagi Development and Management had owned the Memphis properties since 2006, when they purchased them for $3.5 million.

The 126,000-square-foot facility at 363 Burma Road and the 115,000-square-foot facility at 410 Burma Road are located in Southwide Industrial Park near the southeast corner of Latham Street and East Industrial Avenue.

A $4.8 million loan was filed at the time of sale issued by Chicago-based Prime Finance Partners.

The one-story warehouse storage facilities were built in 1973 and have a combined tax appraisal value of $2.2 million.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

AutoZone Board Authorizes $750M Share Buyback

AutoZone is adding another $750 million to its ongoing share buyback program, the Memphis-based car parts retailer announced after market close on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The company said that including the new amount authorized by its board, AutoZone has since 1998 authorized share buybacks worth $16.4 billion.

AutoZone chief financial officer Bill Giles said in a release about the news that the company’s “continued strong financial performance” allows the company to buy back its stock while maintaining its investment grade rating.

“We remain committed to utilizing share repurchases within the bounds of a disciplined capital structure to enhance stockholder returns while maintaining adequate liquidity to execute our plans,” Giles said.

Meanwhile, AutoZone on Wednesday also announced a flurry of organizational changes effective immediately.

Mark Finestone, senior vice president of merchandising and store development, has been promoted to executive vice president over merchandising, supply chain and marketing.

Also, senior vice president Bill Graves has been promoted to executive vice president over Mexico, Brazil, IMC and store development. And Tom Newbern, senior vice president over store operations and loss prevention, has been promoted to executive vice president.

AutoZone currently has 5,609 stores.

– Andy Meek

Mallory Alexander Signs Pact with Old Dominion

Memphis-based Mallory Alexander International Logistics LLC will handle all ocean freight forwarding, back office and operational services for Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.

And Old Dominion will be a sales agent for Mallory Alexander.

The two companies announced the operational alliance Thursday, Oct. 8.

Mallory Alexander is a third party logistics provider with a global reach across all forms of transportation.

Old Dominion is an LTL, or less-than-truckload, carrier with that as its core services. It opened a new $30 million, 267-door Memphis facility in October 2014.

The Thomasville, N.C.-based company also does supply chain consulting, brokers truckloads and does container delivery, warehousing and ground and air expedited transportation.

“This strategic alliance will greatly enhance our ocean freight forwarding offering, enabling our customers to access Mallory Alexander’s extensive suite of services, including their state-of-the-art technology and operational systems,” said Wayne Bersch, vice president of Old Dominion, in a written statement.

Neely Mallory, president of Mallory Alexander described Old Dominion as the “premier LTL carrier in the industry.”

“We expect it will be mutually beneficial, expanding each of our businesses and enabling us to provide our best-in-class services to even more customers across the globe,” he added.

The Old Dominion partnership marks another expansion for Mallory Alexander. The Memphis-based logistics company told The Daily News in August that it was preparing to operate directly in China later this year with a highly coveted freight license from the Chinese government and the opening of the Mallory Asia Pacific division in Shanghai.

– Bill Dries

Arlington Car Wash Sells for $3 Million

The Boomerang Carwash located at 9809 Highway 64 in Arlington sold for $3 million on Sept. 30.

Scottsdale Ariz.-based Spirit Master Funding X LLC purchased the 3,150-square-foot property located on Highway 64 just west of North Houston Levee Road.

Bailey’s Tunnel Wash LLC of Little Rock sold the facility, along with three others, to the same investment company earlier this year.

Bailey’s purchased the property in 2012 for $2 million and still owns the Boomerang Carwash located at 4831 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis.

The facility will be leased to Drive Clean Carwash Operations LLC of Little Rock.

The carwash was built in 2010 and has a tax appraisal value of $1.2 million.

– Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports

Public Meeting Set For Chelsea Avenue Greenline

The city of Memphis will host a public meeting Monday, Oct. 26, on the city’s plan to develop the Chelsea Avenue Greenline.

The project covers 2.5 miles between Uptown’s Washington Park on Second Street and the Chelsea and North Evergreen Street intersection.

The meeting at Dave Wells Community Center, 915 Chelsea Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will include a formal presentation of the plan and a question-and-answer session.

City officials also will take written statements and comments.

The greenline segment follows on old rail line and intersects with a segment of the Wolf River Greenway that takes in McLean Boulevard between Nedra Avenue and Chelsea.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751