FedEx Names New CEO Of FedEx Freight

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. has named John A. Smith the president and CEO of FedEx Freight, effective Aug. 16, the company announced Tuesday, May 1. He will take over for Michael L. Ducker, who announced his retirement plans in April.

Smith, 56, joined FedEx in 2000 and currently serves as FedEx Freight’s senior vice president. He will also serve on FedEx’s Strategic Management Committee.

FedEx also announced Matthew Thornton III, a 40-year FedEx employee, will become executive vice president and chief operating officer of FedEx Freight. Thornton currently serves as senior vice president of U.S. operations for FedEx Express.

In this role, Thornton, 59, will be responsible for overseeing all operations for FedEx Freight.

“Given his deep experience in the transportation industry, unparalleled customer focus and trusted leadership, John Smith is a clear choice to lead the FedEx Freight organization into the future,” David J. Bronczek, president and chief operating officer of FedEx Corp., said in a release. “Matthew Thornton has proven himself time and again in his leadership at FedEx Express, and his thorough knowledge of all aspects of operations make him an excellent addition to the FedEx Freight leadership team.

“Both are examples of our strong promote-from-within philosophy at FedEx, and with these two leaders at the helm, the future for our FedEx Freight organization continues to look very bright.”

Smith and Thornton will begin transitioning into their new roles in mid-May.

– Patrick Lantrip

Faropoint Expands Portfolio By Nearly 1M Square Feet

Faropoint Ventures has purchased another batch of properties in the Memphis area, effectively increasing its local footprint by almost 1 million square feet.

NAI Saig Co. executive vice president Brian Califf represented Faropoint in the $21.8 million multiproperty deal.

The package includes the 217,000-square-foot former International Paper office at 4049 Willow Lake Blvd.; 90,000 square feet at 10666 Ridge Wood in Olive Branch, Mississippi; 247,000 square feet across multiple address on Collins Street in Memphis; and 367,000 square feet at 4791 and 4721 Burbank Road. All of the properties are warehouses except for the former IP office, which will be converted to warehouse use.

Financing for these properties was provided by Nashville-based CapStar Bank.

This latest batch of properties brings Faropoint’s year-to-date local investment total to $37 million. According to Califf, the company has plans to acquire an additional $38 million in industrial properties by year’s end.

– Patrick Lantrip

Gibson Brands Files For Bankruptcy Protection

The maker of the Gibson guitar, omnipresent for decades on the American rock ‘n’ roll stage, is filing for bankruptcy protection after wrestling for years with debt.

Gibson guitars have been esteemed by generations of guitar legends. After Chuck Berry died, his beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin lid. David Bowie favored the 1989 Gibson L4 when he fronted Tin Machine. Slash swears by them.

A prenegotiated reorganization plan filed Tuesday, May 1, will allow Gibson Brands Inc. to continue operations with $135 million in financing from lenders.

In an announcement about the bankruptcy protection, the company said the Chapter 11 filings will allow it to “continue to design, build, sell, and manufacture legendary Gibson and Epiphone guitars, as well as KRK and Cerwin Vega studio monitors and loud speakers, without interruption.”

Gibson was founded in 1894 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee. It also makes the Epiphone and Wurlitzer pianos.

The company has already sold off some noncore brands, acquisitions that contributed to its burdensome debt load.

It also unloaded its Downtown Memphis property in January, selling the Gibson Guitar Factory and Showroom at 145 Lt. George W. Lee Ave. to New York-based real estate investment firm Somera Road Inc. for $14.4 million. Gibson continues to lease the property from Somera.

Along with selling off noncore brands, the company said it plans to wind down its Gibson Innovations business, which was formed when Gibson acquired Philips’ audio and home entertainment business, Woox Innovations, in 2014. The division largely operates outside the U.S.

Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Brands, said the company has made “substantial strides” through an operational restructuring during the past year.

“The decision to re-focus on our core business, Musical Instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health,” Juszkiewicz said in a written statement. “Importantly, this process will be virtually invisible to customers, all of whom can continue to rely on Gibson to provide unparalleled products and customer service.”

– Daily News staff/The Associated Press

Haizlip Studio Sells Midtown Office

Architecture and design firm Haizlip Studio has sold its Midtown location near the corner of Central Avenue and Cooper Street.

Haizlip, doing business as Squirrel LLC, sold the 6,400-square-foot building to Sparky Memphis LLC for $681,000, according to an April 24 warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register. Seldon P. Haizlip signed the warranty deed on behalf of the sellers.

In conjunction with the purchase, the buyers signed a $521,250 mortgage on April 25 with Renasant Bank that will mature on April 25, 2023. J. Kevin Adams, acting as chief manager, signed the deed of trust on behalf of Sparky Memphis LLC.

Calls to Haizlip and Adams were not returned.

– Patrick Lantrip

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Grows Jackson, Tenn., Office

Crystal Barcello has joined the Jackson, Tennessee, office of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc., the broker-dealer subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp., as an associate vice president/investments.

Barcello has 25 years of experience in financial services, including the last five with Stifel’s office in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Her experience in the financial services industry and managing assets for clients nationally will add tremendous value and bring a broader perspective to our West Tennessee community,” Phillip Rogers, branch manager of Stifel’s Jackson office, said in an announcement.

St. Louis, Missouri-based Stifel Financial Corp. is a publicly traded financial services holding company that operates through several wholly owned subsidiaries. Its broker-dealer affiliates, including Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., provide securities brokerage, investment banking, trading, investment advisory and related financial services to individual investors, professional money managers, businesses and municipalities.

Stifel’s Jackson office, 773 N. Parkway, can be reached at 731-664-4435.

– Daily News staff

Dogtopia, Urban Air To Open in Collierville

Carriage Crossing Market Place, on East Shelby Drive in Collierville, has signed leases with two new tenants, Dogtopia and Urban Air Adventure Park, according to landlord Jim Wilson & Associates LLC.

Urban Air Adventure Park, scheduled to open in mid-summer 2018, will offer wall-to-wall trampoline arenas, a sky coaster, bumper cars, bowling lanes and more. The location will be operated and managed by Hometown Entertainment, which promises a “perfect venue for kids’ birthday parties, church events, corporate gatherings or just a day out for some family fun.”

Dogtopia, a dog daycare, boarding and spa services provider with more than 60 locations in the United States and Canada, is building a 5,000-square-foot facility at the Market Place that’s scheduled to open in late spring.

Kip Meierhofer, the franchisee for the new location, will bring a new team to Collierville.

“Even with so much to complete before opening, our team is already getting ready for your favorite pets to be a part of our program,” Meierhofer said in a release.

Montgomery, Alabama-based Jim Wilson & Associates has developed and managed a wide array of properties throughout the eastern United States, including Class A office buildings, hotels, residential communities and millions of square feet of premier shopping space.

“We are fortunate to have completed the leases with these two excellent operations,” said JWA president Will Wilson.

– Daily News staff