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Georgia developer buys land near LSU

An Athens, Georgia, company that develops student housing has bought nearly 30 acres of land at Burbank and West Lee Drives. The Dovetail Companies paid $3.7 million for the 29.6 acres of land in a deal that was filed Thursday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was University PUD of New Orleans.… Continue reading →

BRAC seeking economic outlook responses

Businesses in the nine-parish Baton Rouge area are being asked by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to complete a survey by Nov. 7 for its 2015 economic outlook. BRAC’s economic survey is scheduled for release Nov. 18. The survey is accessible at Area parishes are East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Ascension,… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 2; Louisiana gains 2

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by two this week to 1,929. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,582 rigs were exploring for oil and 346 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A… Continue reading →

OLOL heart, vascular clinic opens in Natchez, Miss.

Our Lady of the Lake has opened a Heart & Vascular Institute Clinic in Natchez, Mississippi. The Our Lady of the Lake Heart & Vascular Institute Clinic, at 46 Sgt. Prentiss Drive, Suite 204, is an extension of the anchor facility in Baton Rouge, offering diagnosis and treatment of cardiac patients. Services… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s Convergence Equity to provide about 350,000 Ebola-resistant suits to feds

Convergence Equity LLC of Baton Rouge will provide around 350,000 Ebola-resistant protective suits and gear to federal departments and agencies under an agreement announced Thursday. Convergence is teaming with medical supplier TrillaMed LLC to provide the protective gear to federal agencies, as well as domestic and foreign health providers. Convergence Equity’s current inventory includes more than… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-based H&E Equipment falls short of Wall Street’s expectations in 3Q

Baton Rouge-based H&E Equipment Services Inc.’s third-quarter profit rose to $15.3 million, or 43 cents per share, compared to $14 million, or 40 cents per share a year ago. H&E rents and sells construction equipment. Despite the improvement, the company fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of… Continue reading →

U.S., Mexico reach preliminary sugar agreement

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- By products from sugar cane might be  used to make plastics, LSU AgCenter researchers say.

A preliminary agreement has been reached between the U.S. and Mexican governments to prevent what the Department of Commerce has said is the illegal dumping of sugar on U.S. markets at low prices. The deal follows the department’s preliminary finding this week that the Mexican government dumped sugar on the U.S. market at a price lower… Continue reading →

Amedisys -- one of country’s largest home health companies -- beats analysts’ expectations in 3Q

A better-than-expected third quarter boosted home health giant Amedisys Inc.’s shares to a three-year high Wednesday, as its stock briefly spiked by more than 19 percent before easing back. The Baton Rouge-based company reported a third-quarter profit of $8.4 million, or 26 cents per share, easily whipping past Wall Street analysts’ projections. Stock analysts surveyed… Continue reading →

U.S. agriculture secretary announces new Gulf oil spill recovery program

A new $40 million partnership will give money for conservation projects to landowners in states affected by BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. He said the department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation could eventually provide a… Continue reading →

MidSouth Bancorp posts $4.3 million profit

Lafayette-based MidSouth Bancorp Inc. reported a third-quarter profit of $4.3 million, compared to $3.1 million a year ago. Earnings amounted to 37 cents per common share, compared to 27 cents a year earlier. Third-quarter 2014 net earnings included $700,000 from an after-tax gain on the sale of commercial property held by the bank. It also… Continue reading →

Land sold in The Grove for trampoline park

A 1.5-acre tract of land in The Grove mixed-use development, east of the Mall of Louisiana, has been sold to an Arkansas company that plans to build an indoor trampoline park there. The tract, behind Dick’s Sporting Goods, was purchased by Labat Grove LLC of Fort Smith, Arkansas, for $900,000 in a deal that was filed with… Continue reading →

Former Shaw execs seek $750 million for energy fund

An investment fund headed by Shaw Group founder Jim Bernhard is looking to raise $750 million to invest in energy services companies, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. BCP Energy Services Fund LP’s filing with the SEC is Bernhard Capital Partners’ first investment fund. BCP has hired Greenwich, Connecticut-based Atlantic-Pacific Capital… Continue reading →

Home Bancorp sees rise in third-quarter earnings

Lafayette-based Home Bancorp Inc. saw its third-quarter earnings rise to $2.9 million, or 41 cents per share, compared to $2.5 million, or 37 cents per share, a year ago. Loans totaled $907.4 million as of Sept. 30, up 33 percent from Sept. 30, 2013. The increase in loans was primarily the result of Home’s acquisition of Britton… Continue reading →

Louisiana civil service career fair planned

The Louisiana Department of State Civil Service will host a targeted career fair from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Baton Rouge Information and Recruiting Office at 5825 Florida Blvd. in Baton Rouge. The career fair will be targeted to jobs in the engineering, technology and scientific areas. The state agencies participating are the… Continue reading →

Pitch Night competition deadline approaching

Up to four businesses will be selected to compete for as much as $1 million in investment capital on BREW Pitch Night, but they must apply for the competition no later than Friday at 3 p.m. All applications should be submitted online at, said host committee member Stephen Loy, executive director of Louisiana Technology Park.… Continue reading →

Homewood Suites changes hands, getting renovation

The Homewood Suites by Hilton Baton Rouge is set to undergo a full renovation in 2015 after getting new owners. The 115-room hotel at 5860 Corporate Blvd. was one of 52 hotels set to change hands when NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. and Chatham Lodging Trust agreed to buy a portfolio of properties from Inland America Real Estate… Continue reading →

Broadmoor Village land acquired for $1 million

The group that has spent the past few years redeveloping the Broadmoor Village Shopping Center has purchased the land upon which the center sits for $1 million. Clark Heebe and Brett Davis bought the shopping center in late 2010, but they had been paying a lease for the land the buildings sat on, said Austin Earhart, an… Continue reading →

Sasol gives final approval to $8.1 billion Louisiana project

Advocate graphic, Sosol project

Sasol Ltd. has given the green light to an $8.1 billion ethane cracker and chemical complex near Lake Charles that could morph into a near-$22 billion investment, if a proposed gas-to-liquids plant is also built. The final decision on the gas-to-liquids project is expected within 24 months. That would bump the industrial construction project up to rival… Continue reading →

Investar reports increase in profits for third quarter

Baton Rouge-based Investar Holding Corp., the parent company of Investar Bank, reported its third-quarter profit rose to $1.4 million, or 20 cents per share, compared to $700,000, or 16 cents per share, a year ago. Investar Holding Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer John D’Angelo listed the 114 percent increase in net income as one of the… Continue reading →

Geismar biorefinery returns to production

Renewable Energy Group Inc.’s Geismar biorefinery has returned to production, shipping its first truckloads of diesel after a two-year-long shutdown. Renewable Energy Group acquired the plant in two separate deals with the former owners, joint-venture partners Syntroleum Corp. and Tyson Foods. The total value of those may reach $105 million. The joint venture had… Continue reading →

IberiaBank to acquire more Florida locations with $259 million deal

Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp. jumped into the Orlando, Florida, market by acquiring Old Florida Bancshares and its 14 locations in a stock deal valued at $259 million. Old Florida, the largest community bank in the Orlando metro area, gives IberiaBank “an exceptional entrance vehicle” into that market, IberiaBank President and Chief Executive Officer Daryl G. Byrd said… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Oct. 26, 2014

Tom Boon, of Ford, Bacon & Davis LLC

Ford, Bacon & Davis LLC, with seven offices in Louisiana and South Carolina, is opening an office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Tom Boon will be senior vice president and general manager, Saudi Arabia, to develop operations there. Boon previously was location manager for Saudi Arabia… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Oct. 26, 2014

LEGAL SECRETARIES OF NEW ORLEANS & THE RIVER REGION WHEN: Tuesday, 6 p.m. WHERE: Sandro’s Trattoria, 6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie SPEAKERS: Paulette Zibilich, law firm administration, Herman Herman & Katz on “Professionalism” COST: $25… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Oct. 26, 2014

Bill Balhoff, of Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC

Adams and Reese received the 2014 Corporate Commitment to Diversity Award from the New Orleans Society for Human Resource Management. The award recognizes outstanding practices of diversity initiatives and awareness in the workplace and the community. The law firm also has received the 2014 Louisiana State Bar Association Human Rights… Continue reading →

Migrant workers fill the gap on Louisiana farms

Advocate photo by ANNIE OURSO -- Cousins Aurelio, left, and Roberto Nuñez work on a sugar cane cutter on a farm in White Castle during harvesting season on H-2A visas.

Cousins Roberto and Aurelio Nuñez came to Louisiana to find what they couldn’t in Mexico: a way to adequately provide for their families. For up to 10 months each year, the Nuñezes and thousands of other Latinos leave home to work on Louisiana farms as documented temporary agricultural workers — H-2A… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Oct. 26, 2014

Tom Boon, of Ford, Bacon & Davis LLC

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Louisiana District Office is accepting nominations for its 2015 National Small Business Week Awards. The deadline is 2 p.m. Jan. 5. Award categories are: Small Business Person of the Year; Phoenix Awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments during disaster recovery; Small Business… Continue reading →

People in Business for Oct. 26, 2014

Bonny Botts, Campus Federal Credit Union

Bonny Botts has been named vice president of marketing at Campus Federal Credit Union. Botts was account executive with GTECH Corp. in Providence, Rhode Island, and previously was vice president of marketing and public relations at Louisiana Lottery Corp. and marketing director and assistant vice president at Union Planters Bank of Louisiana.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Oct. 26, 2014

Bill Balhoff, of Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC

Bill Balhoff, managing director and CEO of Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC, has been honored with the Outstanding Visionary Award by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. The award was based on his broad impact in the accounting industry and in the community through his leadership position at P&N and as chairman of the… Continue reading →

Seven Louisiana metro areas post job gains

Seven of Louisiana’s eight metropolitan areas gained nonfarm jobs over the year ended Sept. 30, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Numbers for metro areas’ job categories were not seasonally adjusted, but they showed gains in all but the Alexandria area, which lost 700 work slots. The… Continue reading →

Hollingsworth Richards Ford begins renovations

A $2.1 million renovation of the Hollingsworth Richards Ford dealership on Florida Boulevard is underway. Crews are modernizing the exterior, showroom and service areas of the business at 7787 Florida Blvd. The dealership will remain open during the renovations.… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 9; Louisiana down 1

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by nine this week to 1,927. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,595 rigs were exploring for oil and 332 for gas. A year ago there were 1,738… Continue reading →

State to continue working with company on NW La. expansion

The state will work with a northeast Louisiana aviation business on continuing an expansion that was approved for a $575,000 grant just hours before the Oct. 17 death of one of Flying Tiger Aviation LLC’s executives, the state’s economic development secretary said Thursday. Longtime legislative, education and aviation figure Edwards Barham helped secure the state performance-based grant… Continue reading →

LSU lists Top 100 Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses

Global Commerce and Services LLC, an information technology company in Harvey operated by entrepreneur Joaneane Smith, tops the list of LSU’s 100 Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses for 2014, university officials announced Friday. Other companies at the top of fastest-growing Tiger-led business list in order are: Audubon Engineering, Metairie, provides design and management services… Continue reading →

Plan would sell stock to fund natural gas liquefication facility

The California company planning a $9.3 billion natural gas liquefaction facility in Cameron Parish hopes to fund the project by selling stock in the venture. SCT&E LNG’s first step will be to raise $40 million from a select group of investors over the next few weeks, according to Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Greg Michaels. The… Continue reading →

Owner reports $12.2 million loss on River Parishes Hospital sale

Photo provided by River Parishes Hospital -- River Parishes Hospital in LaPlace has been aquired by Ochsner.

LifePoint Hospitals Inc. reported a $12.2 million loss on the pending sale of River Parishes Hospital in Laplace, the company reported Friday. The write down includes property, equipment and goodwill. The price for the hospital was not disclosed. LifePoint included the charge in its third-quarter results. The company reported its third-quarter profit fell 15.4… Continue reading →

Elio Motors passes first phase of government loan process

Elio Motors Inc., which proposes making an enclosed, three-wheeled vehicle in northwest Louisiana, said Thursday its application for a $185 million U.S. Department of Energy loan has passed the first of three phases of review. Elio said its application was deemed “substantially complete” and moves to the due diligence phase. “While this is just one… Continue reading →

Westlake Chemical plans $330 million expansion in Sulphur

Westlake Chemical will spend $330 million to expand its Sulphur plant, a move that will create 25 jobs. The move will increase the plant’s capacity to produce ethylene, a building block for plastic products, by 250 million pounds annually, the company said Thursday. This will increase Westlake’s global ethylene capacity to 3.6 billion pounds a year.… Continue reading →

IberiaBank earnings rise, beat expectations

Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp. said its third-quarter earnings climbed to $29.7 million, or 89 cents per diluted share, compared to $23.2 million, or 78 cents per share, during the same period in 2013. The holding company for IberiaBank said Wednesday the results included non-operating costs of 11 cents per share. Without those costs, IberiaBank would have generated… Continue reading →