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VOL. 45 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 15, 2021

Amazon delivers for Children’s Theatre

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Amazon has partnered with the Nashville Children’s Theatre for its 90th anniversary season, allowing the organization to expand its reach and offerings to students across Tennessee.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCT had to move its shows and classes online for participants. With this transition came additional costs of expanded web platforms and streaming services that were not originally anticipated. Because of Amazon’s new partnership with the 90-year-old organization, the NCT will be able to continue providing streaming opportunities to individual families as well as Nashville’s public school students.

“We are so grateful to be able to have a partnership with Amazon this year,” says Ernie Nolan, executive artistic director of NCT. “With everything that happened in 2020, we are excited to be able to continue to provide classes and shows to students online who would have otherwise been able to attend our productions in person. None of what we do would be possible without the generosity of companies like Amazon.”

The partnership will help to cover the costs of streaming the NCT’s Pete the Cat online production to all Metro Nashville Public School children in grade K-3 and will support the NCT Virtual Summer Theatre Festival for families in need.

Firestone Building Products division sold

LafargeHolcim has signed an agreement to acquire Firestone Building Products, a Nashville-based industry leader in commercial roofing and building envelope solutions.

Upon completion of the sale, FSBP will continue to be headquartered in Nashville and all 1,900 FSBP employees will transition to LafargeHolcim.

Founded in 1980, Firestone Building Products is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas and part of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation, a global leader providing tires and sustainable mobility solutions that create social and customer value.

Firestone Building is a commercial roofing and building envelope solutions company. This acquisition is a milestone in LafargeHolcim’s transformation to become the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions.

The transaction is valued at USD 3.4 billion, to be financed with cash and debt while maintaining net debt below 2x. Synergies of USD 110 million per year are expected on a run-rate basis within two years of closing, which is expected in the second quarter.

The acquisition is earnings per share accretive from the first year.

Wold Architects moves up on ‘Top 100’ list

Wold | HFR Design, a national architecture and engineering firm, is No. 28 on the list of the nation’s largest architecture engineering firms, up seven spots from 2019, as reported by Building Design+Construction’s Giants 400 Report. The report includes a comprehensive ranking of the nation’s largest AE firms for nonresidential and multifamily buildings work.

The ranking comes a year after Nashville-based HFR Design partnered with Wold, expanding both firms’ broad government, health care, senior living, and education portfolios under one entity, Wold | HFR Design. The firm has led thousands of projects and developed a reputation for bringing its clients’ goals forward in every project.

BD+C’s annual Giants 400 Report ranks the top U.S. architecture, engineering and construction firms across 44 building sectors and specialty categories.

U-Haul: Tennessee tops in US for growth

Tennessee is the No. 1 growth state in the U.S., a study by U-Haul concludes. It is the first time the state has ranked at the top of the list.

Growth states are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually.

While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the company’s growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities and states are attracting and maintaining residents.

Tennessee’s influx of do-it-yourself movers during a turbulent year marked by the coronavirus pandemic means that a state other than Florida and Texas tops the growth rankings for the first time since 2015, when North Carolina led the way.

East and Middle Tennessee are enjoying the biggest gains in U-Haul arrivals. The top growth cities include Knoxville, the Tri-Cities, Cookeville, Clarksville, Cleveland, Murfreesboro and Maryville.

Cigna adds Iora Health to its MA network

Nashville-based Cigna Corporation, a health service company, has added Iora Health, an innovative primary care provider group, to its rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage network.

Cigna Medicare Advantage customers will have access to Iora’s primary care practices under the Iora Primary Care brand across the country, effective immediately.

The agreement applies to most Iora locations where Cigna offers a MA plan, including the greater Denver, Charlotte, Houston, Atlanta and Tucson areas, with 27 practices in these locations.

Iora specializes in primary care for older adults on Medicare, making it easier for MA patients to access health care, whether in the doctor’s office or the comfort of their home.

Lipscomb & Pitts announce merger

Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance co-CEOs Mat Lipscomb III and Johnny Pitts are merging their firm with Higginbotham.

With 134 employees in Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance is among the largest independent brokers in the Southeast. Higginbotham is ranked by revenue as the nation’s largest independent insurance broker based in Texas.

Higginbotham is strategically growing by partnering with independent insurance firms that complement its service model and add scale to its operation, which now spans seven states.

Lipscomb and Pitts are second-generation majority owners of the firm. Their fathers became business partners in 1954 after working together at Liberty Mutual, and their sons, friends since childhood, assumed leadership in 1990.

Brentwood company buys PhyBus RCM

Brentwood-based Ambulatory Surgery Center has announced it has completed its acquisition of PhyBus RCM.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The combined entity will continue to be known as Simplify ASC, keeping its headquarters in Brentwood.

Rodney Lunn, executive chairman, PhyBus founder and former AMSURG co-founder, says the time is right for a service-led technology provider because ASCs continue to grow in both popularity and complexity as the site of choice for elective surgery.

Bloomerang adds Kindful to its network

Nashville-based Kindful, a nonprofit software platform known for its best-in-class third party application integrations and online fundraising tools, has been acquired by Bloomerang, a leader in cloud-based donor management and fundraising software for small and midsize nonprofits.

FINTOP Capital, a venture capital firm focused on B2B SaaS companies in the financial technology space with offices in Nashville, has exited its investment in Kindful.

The new combined company will offer an expanded set of capabilities to help nonprofits attract more donors, deepen existing donor relationships and improve fundraising effectiveness.

The acquisition builds on a strong year for Bloomerang which recently received a strategic growth investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies.

With more than 12,900 nonprofit users and $8.3 billion tracked donations, Kindful has established itself as a leader in nonprofit software, earning a spot on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list.

FINTOP Capital invested in Kindful in 2016, along with fellow early investor Meeting Street Capital of Charleston, South Carolina.

Woods Air Movement opening in Murfreesboro

Woods Air Movement officials say the ventilation and fan company will establish a U.S. facility in Murfreesboro.

Woods Air Movement will re-establish its North American presence in the U.S. market by investing $3.6 million and creating 27 jobs in Rutherford County.

The company is constructing a new, purpose-built 25,000-square-foot facility, which will be its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility for industrial ventilation products used in road and rail tunnels, non-residential buildings and underground parking garages.

The facility will also function as a product testing center, which will be accessible to customers.

Originally established in 1909 in Colchester, England, Woods Air Movement is globally recognized in a variety of markets from building ventilation and fire safety to customized industrial projects.

Woods Air Movement manufactures smoke and fire safety products as well as centrifugal, axial Jet Thrust and roof fans. The company also specializes in acoustic and engineering support services.

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