EdR to Be Acquired In $4.6 Billion Deal

Memphis-based collegiate housing developer and manager EdR has entered into an agreement to be acquired by the newly formed, perpetual-life fund Greystar Student Housing Growth and Income Fund in a $4.6 billion all-cash transaction.

Per the terms of the merger, EdR shareholders will receive $41.50 per share in cash, which is a 13.6 percent premium over the closing price May 31, 2018 – the last trading day before news stories speculating about the possible sale of EdR began circulating.

“For more than 50 years, EdR has been a pioneer in the student housing industry, partnering with some of America’s most prestigious universities to enhance and transform their campus housing and achieve their student success goals,” Randy Churchey, EdR’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors said in a release. “As a public company, one of our priorities is to maximize stockholder value and we believe this transaction with Greystar accomplishes that goal. We are certain today’s announcement is in the best interest of all of EdR’s stakeholders, including university partners, employees and stockholders.”

The transaction is expected to close in the latter half of 2018, and as a result EdR does not expect to issue a second-quarter earnings release.

Greystar Student Housing Growth and Income Fund is an affiliate of Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar Real Estate Partners, a global real estate company specializing in investment management, development, and property management of rental housing.

– Patrick Lantrip

Former MPD Director Melvin Burgess Dies

Former Memphis Police Director Melvin Burgess Sr. died Thursday, June 28.

Burgess, the father of Shelby County commissioner Melvin Burgess Jr., served as police director from January 1992 to May 1994. He was appointed by then-Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton in one of his first actions as mayor.

Burgess became police director after a career of more than 30 years in the ranks and command staff of the department. He joined the police department in March 1962 as a beat officer in the Beale Street precinct. His assignments over the years included vice and narcotics as well as homicide, robbery and juvenile crime.

His tenure as police director ended when Herenton fired him while seeking the immediate dismissal of a police officer. Burgess contended he couldn’t immediately fire the officer for a fight among officers but had to follow procedures, which included an appeal hearing.

Burgess later ran for Shelby County Sheriff as the Democratic nominee in 1998, losing to Republican incumbent A.C. Gilless in a hard-fought race.

After the race, Burgess served as an assistant to Tunica County Sheriff John Pickett as the department was recovering from a federal drugs and corruption probe, which included indictments against those in the command staff. Burgess resigned after the election of a new sheriff.

Burgess also served on the transition team of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland as Strickland took office in 2016.

“He served our city for many years at MPD, including as police director. And his advice was valuable to me when he served on our transition team,” Strickland said Thursday in a statement on social media.

– Bill Dries

Strome Named Dean Of UTHSC College of Medicine

Dr. Scott Strome, an internationally recognized head and neck surgeon, has been named Robert Kaplan Executive Dean of the College of Medicine and vice chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Strome will begin the job on or before Oct. 1, the university announced Wednesday, June 27.

He comes to UTHSC from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he has served for 13 years as professor and chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

Strome said he plans to focus on all of UTHSC’s missions.

“For me, this is a really tremendous opportunity to help shape the research, educational, and clinical missions of the school,” he said in a statement. “I was looking for a place that already had many strengths, but also had room for someone to build.”

Among his plans, he wants to develop new ways to help students learn the vast amount of knowledge they need to obtain during medical school and also said he is passionate about finding ways to reduce the cost of medical education.

“I want to make certain that everybody within the state and outside the state as well, if they want to be a doctor and they have the requirements, they have the opportunity,” he said.

Strome’s clinic expertise is in the treatment of head and neck tumors, thyroid cancer and diseases of the anterior skull base. His plan is to expand the UTHSC clinical operation, while focusing on quality patient outcomes and cutting-edge advancements and technologies, according to UTHSC.

As a researcher, he is the founder and former co-leader of the program in tumor immunology and immunotherapy in the University of Maryland’s comprehensive cancer center. He has been a National Institutes of Health-funded researcher and is the co-founder of Gliknik Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer and autoimmunity.

– Daily News staff

Food & Wine Festival Unwraps Changes in 2018

The Memphis Food & Wine Festival is shifting gears this year, replacing the full-scale festival with a series of chef-hosted dinners in different restaurants around the city.

Festival organizers announced the changes Thursday, June 28, with chairman Al LaRocca describing the new series as “a culinary collaboration not to be missed.”

Though some details are still under wraps, organizers said each dinner “will feature a renowned out-of-town guest chef cooking alongside a talented local chef, as well as specially selected wine pairings.”

MFWF says it will post updates and ticket information on Facebook (facebook.com/MemphisFoodWineFestival) and Instagram (instagram.com/memphisfoodwinefestival).

The festival started two years ago as a way to celebrate world-class cuisine and wines while raising money for a worthy cause. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit FedExFamilyHouse, a home away from home for families with children in treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. In its first two years, the festival raised more than $200,000 for FedExFamilyHouse.

MFWF organizers are planning to host the next full-scale festival in 2019, which LaRocca says will give them “plenty of time to make it the best one yet.”

The event is scheduled to be held Oct. 12, 2019, at Memphis Botanic Garden, with FedEx serving as the presenting sponsor.

– Daily News staff

Aerotek Seeking to Fill 200 Memphis Positions

Aerotek, a leading provider of recruiting and staffing services, is looking to fill more than 200 positions for Flex in the Memphis area by the end of August. Aerotek is seeking candidates for a variety of positions, including: engineer test technicians; test technicians; test operators; material handlers; forklift operators and repair test technicians.

The positions are for a contract period with the opportunity to transition to full-time employment based on performance and attendance. Pay ranges from $10 an hour to $16 an hour, depending on the position.

Interested applicants can visit the local Aerotek office, where open interviews are being held Monday through Thursday until Tuesday, Aug. 28. Walk-ins are welcome. The office is at 6380 Holmes Road.

For more information, contact Cheryll Morales at chmorale@aerotek.com or 901-800-5233; Brandon Houston at brahouston@aerotek.com or 678-308-2390; or Anita Douglas at andougla@aerotek.com or 901-800-5304 or 901-486-6605.

– Don Wade

Community LIFT Accepting Grant Applications

Community LIFT has begun accepting applications for its 2018 Empowerment Fund grants. Launched last year, the Empowerment Fund is designed to provide financial assistance to grassroots leaders and organizations for community work that improves the quality of life in Memphis’ under-resourced neighborhoods.

Residents, business or property owners, and neighborhood associations can apply for grants of up to $2,500 to fund community-supported projects that promote community cohesion, improve the physical spaces in the neighborhood, cultivate financial stability, and/or assist neighborhood stakeholders in collaborative action.

Community LIFT will host three information sessions. Those who are interested in applying for an Empowerment Fund grant must attend a session:

• July 2: 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1350 Concourse Ave., suite 434

• July 2: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., room A

• July 9: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, 1900 Union Ave.

Community LIFT is a community development intermediary that works to advance Memphis by facilitating funding and connections that empower residents, grow community development corporations and neighborhood businesses to renew place, and build support for greater Memphis neighborhoods.

In 2017, LIFT awarded $70,000 in small grants to 30 individuals and organizations through the Empowerment Fund.

The 2018 Empowerment Fund applications must be submitted by July 27, and grants will be announced on Sept. 21. For details, visit communitylift.org.

– Don Wade

Memphis Logistics Firm To Merge With Trax

Veraction, a Memphis-based transportation spend management and freight audit solutions provider, has announced a merger with Scottsdale, Arizona-based Trax Technologies, a global freight audit and payment provider.

The combined business will operate under the name of Trax Group Inc. and will offer customers a single global technology platform across all shipping modes and a suite of transportation spend management analytics.

PNC Business Credit and White Oak Global Advisors provided secured financing in support of the transaction. Chris Connell, former CEO of Veraction, will head up the combined company as CEO of Trax Group Inc.

“Many of the world’s largest shippers have already turned to Trax and Veraction to better control their transportation costs and save money,” Connell said in a statement. “This combination brings together the two clear leaders in this industry with rich legacies, innovative solutions and deeply talented teams with an intense customer focus. Our combined company will set a new standard for transportation spend management solutions and freight audit.”

– Patrick Lantrip

Hollywood Feed Extending Store Hours

Memphis-based Hollywood Feed will extend its Sunday store hours from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., effective July 1.

The extended Sunday hours will affect all 12 Hollywood Feed stores in the Memphis area, including those in Germantown, Cordova, Collierville, Bartlett, Oakland, Atoka, Southaven and Olive Branch. Currently the stores are open Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.

“Sundays are the perfect time for our customers to run errands and get everything that their pet will need for the coming week,” Brittany Gilliam, Hollywood Feed chief operating officer, said in a statement. “In response to customer demand, we’re pleased to be able to offer extended hours that provide greater access to our natural and holistic products and offerings.”

A full listing of stores and hours can be found at hollywoodfeed.com.

– Patrick Lantrip

U of M Selling Tickets For Football Road Games

The University of Memphis ticket office now has tickets for the Tigers’ five regular season road games on sale. Memphis will open conference play in week two at Navy on Sept. 8. Tickets for that game are $45. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Central and the game will air on CBS Sports Network.

The Tigers will close the month of September at Tulane in a Friday night game on ESPN in New Orleans. Tickets for that game are $15 and the nationally broadcast West Division matchup will kick off at 7 p.m.

Memphis will step out of conference play in October to face the Tigers of Missouri on Oct. 20 in the front end of a home-and home series. Kickoff for the game in Columbia has yet to be determined, but tickets are available at $70 each. The TV partner is also yet to be announced. This is Memphis’ first game in Columbia since 1996, a 19-16 Memphis victory.

Following a bye week, Memphis will be back on the road to open November, traveling to face East Carolina on Nov. 3. Tickets for the Tigers’ first game in Greenville since 2012 are $50 and will find Memphis trying to snap a four-game losing streak in Greenville, last winning in 2004. Kickoff and the television partner for that American Athletic Conference game will be announced during the season.

The Tigers will play their regular-season road finale on Nov. 16 on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. It will be Memphis’ first matchup with SMU under the Mustangs’ new coach, Sonny Dykes. Tickets for that game are $40.

All road tickets can be purchased online at gotigersgotix.com or by calling the ticket office at 901-678-2331. All away-game tickets are allotted based on Tiger Scholarship Fund priority points and will be sent out approximately three weeks before the game.

Memphis home-game season tickets also are on sale. Like the road tickets, home-season tickets for the seven-game schedule are on sale online at gotigersgo.com/footballtickets or by calling the ticket office at 901-678-2331.

– Don Wade

Lake District Inks Deal With Gould’s

Gould’s Salon and Spa has signed a deal to become The Lake District’s newest tenant.

This marks the 12th location for Gould’s, which joins The Stock Market and Malco Theatres in the 160-plus-acre mixed-use development.

“Gould’s Salon and Spa is an iconic Memphis landmark driven by superior customer service and unrivaled salon services,” Lake District director of development Maggie Gallagher said in a statement. “Bringing in a local, family brand only reinforces our commitment to enhancing the consumer experience through trusted partners who bring luxury lifestyle amenities.”

Paul Gould and Trezevant Realty represented Gould’s in the deal, while Shawn Massey with The Shopping Center Group represented The Lake District.

Gould’s co-owner Philip Gould said The Lake District offers the “ideal environment” for the company’s newest salon and spa concept, which he said will include a complete hair salon and barber shop along with a full complement of spa services.

– Patrick Lantrip

Hope House Awarded $75K Corporate Grant

Hope House, an organization working to improve the quality of life for Memphians impacted by HIV, has received a $75,000 grant from Gilead Sciences Inc., marking the largest single corporate grant the organization has received.

The funding will allow Hope House to conduct clinical outreach and prevention education services in the Memphis area.

Hope House says it will use the grant to assist hundreds of people who are living with HIV. Additionally, the organization hopes to reach thousands over the next year who may be at risk for contracting HIV and provide them with free testing and educational services.

– Daily News staff

Unemployment Rises Slightly in Shelby County

Shelby County’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in May while remaining below 4 percent, according to new figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The county’s preliminary May unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from April’s rate but still down from 3.9 percent in May 2017.

Ninety-three of Tennessee’s 95 counties recorded a rate in May that was less than 5 percent, with the two outliers being Lauderdale County (5.3 percent) and Houston County (5.2 percent).

“For nearly an entire year Tennessee has continued to experience historically low unemployment,” Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said in a statement. “While some counties experienced a slight uptick in their rates between April and May, the numbers are still very impressive.”

Williamson County had the lowest unemployment in the state, with a rate of 2.1 percent. Davidson County was the second-lowest, at 2.2 percent.

Meanwhile, unemployment for the Memphis metropolitan statistical area rose slightly to 3.8 percent in May compared with 3.5 percent in April. It was 4 percent in May 2017. The Memphis MSA includes Fayette, Shelby and Tipton counties, along with portions of North Mississippi and eastern Arkansas.

– Daily News staff

Avison Young Brokers EnSafe Sale-Leaseback

Avison Young principals Shane Soefker and Jacob Biddle have negotiated the sale-leaseback of environmental consultancy firm EnSafe Inc.’s northeast Memphis headquarters.

The six-building, 51,610-square-foot portfolio, located at 5710-5730 Summer Trees Drive just south of Summer Avenue and west of Sycamore View Road, was purchased by New York-based Royal Oak Realty Trust.

An additional parcel located at 5669 Summer Ave. also was included in the transaction and brings Royal Oak’s purchase to just over 6.5 acres in the Memphis Northeast submarket.

“We are seeing sustained demand for quality properties across product types and submarkets in the Memphis market,” Soefker said in a statement.

Founded in 1980, EnSafe offers a range of management and planning solutions to clients in a wide range of industries, providing everything from job-hazard analysis to compliance auditing to engineering design solutions.

– Patrick Lantrip