Mergers & Acquisitions

1997

December

Impac Hotel Group, L.L.C., has purchased the Fairfield Inn by Marriott, 15 South Park Drive, Burlington. The new owner will begin a $572,000 rennovation to the 117-room hotel in January, expected to be completed by spring or summer. The inn will remain open throughout the work. Impac Hotel Group is an Atlanta-based hotel development and management company, which owns and operates 47 hotels in 21 states.

New Hampshire-based WL Acquisition Corp. has acquired DBI Industries Inc. of South Burlington and renamed the company Tridyne International Inc. The company has two divisions: Tridyne Process Systems has manufactured netweigh/weighcount machinery for more than 30 years. Kidder Metalworking has manufactured sheet metal fabricating equipment for 95 years.

The Thomas Chittenden Health Center in Williston has opened its practice to all members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and The Vermont Health Plan. Members can now choose the center's physicians as their primary care providers.

David M. Roberts sold the All Seasons Inn/Motel in Ludlow to Anne and Dennis Mills of California. The Mills also purchased the Happy Trails Motel in Ludlow from Roberts. Wendy Beach and Gary Gosselin of The Hearthside Group in Burlington assisted the seller in the transaction.

Marin Environmental Inc., an environmental consulting and engineering firm with an office in Colchester, has acquired EnviroGraphics, a Chester, Conn., GIS software sales and consulting company. Marin has incorporated the company into its Haddam, Conn., headquarters. Sandy Prisloe has joined Marin's Haddam office as a consultant for the EnviroGraphics division to assist in the transfer.

November

Smith, Bell & Thompson Inc., an insurance, risk management and financial services company in Burlington, has become affiliated with Consumer Insurance Services of America Inc. The company offers home, boat and life insurance, as well as financial services products that are available only through GROUPadvantage.

Armand and Christine Turner purchased the Clark memorial building at 6 Main St., Milton, from Adams Properties Ltd. The property housed the town's municipal offices. Eric Farrell, a commercial broker with Hickok & Boardman Commercial Realty of Burlington, brokered the transaction.

Ellen and Gary Roffman have acquired Putney Press from Robert W. Lawson. The company publishes the Vermont Environmental Monitor, the New Hampshire Environmental Monitor, Act 250 Handbook, the Environmental Product and Services Directory and the Vermont Government Directory, and manages the Vermont Business Materials Exchange. The new owners have moved the firm from Brattleboro to their Newfane home. [email protected] (802) 365-7991.

October

Trombley Real Estate has merged with the Burlington office of Lang Associates. Toni Trombley has owned Trombley Real Estate for 10 years.

The Longfellow Trust properties sold five residential buildings to M.P. & C. Jones, at 116, 122 and 124 Maple St., and 35 and 39 Convent Square, Burlington. Eric Farrell and Bill Sheedy, commercial brokers with Hickok & Boardman Commercial Realty, brokered the transaction. Sheedy also assisted Inacom Information Systems in leasing commercial space at 7 Park Ave., Williston.

The Geonomics Institute has formally joined Middlebury College. The institute brings together government policy makers, business leaders and academics to solve economic, political and social problems.

September

Page Designs Inc. of Winooski has purchased the graphic design portion of LaserImage of Burlington. Page Designs provides graphic design, business writing, website development, electronic publishing and other communication services.

Hickok & Boardman Realty Inc., a division of the Hickok & Boardman Financial Network in Burlington, has merged with Coburn & Feeley Real Estate Inc. of Burlington. The merged firm, Hickok & Boardman Realty Inc., offers services in residential real estate, commercial real estate, business brokerage, and an affiliated property management division. Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty, the residential division, has a market presence of 15 percent of the listings in northwestern Vermont with a residential sales team of 38 full-time agents. The commercial division operates as Hickok & Boardman Commercial Realty with Atlantic Lodging Restaurant Brokers Inc. as an affiliate company brokering the sale of hospitality properties in Vermont. David Boardman is president of Hickok & Boardman Realty Inc.; Richard Feeley is vice president of Hickok & Boardman Realty Inc. and general manager of Hickok & Boardman Commercial Realty. Feeley becomes a stockholder at Hickok & Boardman Realty along with Leslee MacKenzie, vice president/general manager, and Brian Boardman, sales associate with the agency. The join principal owners David Boardman and Scott Boardman, vice president. Michael Simoneau, formerly vice president of Coburn & Feeley Real Estate, was named vice president of the agency and joins the commercial division as a sales associate. Geri Reilly, formerly vice president of Coburn & Feeley Real Estate and its leading broker, has joined the residential division as a sales associate. Charles (Chip) Thackara is the residential branch manager of the 205 Dorset St., South Burlington, office. Hickok & Boardman Realty has three offices -- 125 College St. and 346 Shelburne Road in Burlington and 205 Dorset St. in South Burlington, with plans to merge the College Street location to the Shelburne Road location by year end.

Doug Nedde of Redstone Commercial Group represented the Chittenden Bank in selling 24 acres of lake shore property, adjacent to North Shore Condominiums in Burlington, to John Larkin, who is proposing a development of mixed-use housing to include condominiums, apartments and elderly housing.

Diane Boucher and Steve Juiffre, owners of Chappell's Florist Shops, have announced the purchase of Ethan Allen Florist located in the Ethan Allen Shopping Center on North Avenue in Burlington. The name of the shop has been changed to Chappell's Florist.

Robert J. Lake, president of Majestic Corp. of America Inc. (MCA), has announced the addition of Paradee & Associates, Legal Investigations and Security Inc., to its holding company. MCA is the parent company of Majestic Repossession & Transportation Corp., and Majestic Property Services Inc. MCA specializes in debt recovery and loss prevention for financial institutions. Its corporate offices are in Burlington.

KoBel International (Business Digest, Feb. 1994) of Milton, a specialty printer of direct mail cards and pressure-sensitive labels, has changed its name to KoBel Inc. Marubeni Corp., one of Japan's leading trading companies, has increased its stake in the Vermont company to an 80 percent ownership position. The remaining 20 percent continues to be held by Ko-Pack International of Tokyo -- a manufacturer of high-tech, narrow web printing presses.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has sold land and buildings at 438 College St., Burlington, to the University of Vermont. Michael Simoneau, vice president and commercial broker for Hickok & Boardman Commercial Realty, represented the seller in the sale.

August

Market Makers International Inc., a computer sales and networking company at 257 Pine St., Burlington, has announced the purchase of the computer training division of LaserImage of Burlington. LaserImage will move to Market Makers' location. Market Makers is owned by Tim D'Arcy and John Cushman and has a branch in West Lebanon, N.H.

The former Islands Realty Inc. of South hero and Alburg has become a member of Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates Inc. Under the new affiliation, the company will be known as Coldwell Banker Islands Realty Inc. The real estate firm, co-owned by Rod Hill, Philip Gerbode and Larry Mumley, specializes in lake shore homes, cottages and lots, as well as inland homes and acreage in Grand Isle County, the lakeside of Franklin County and the northwest corner of Chittenden County. The new affiliation adds national and international marketing exposure.

Hill Associates Inc., a Colchester business that provides telecommunications training and education to businesses, and Champlain College in Burlington have announced a partnership to build on-line technology training products that will be marketed around the world. Hill Associates' sales force will market some of Champlain College's computer applications-based courses -- word processing, database management and spreadsheets -- to its corporate clients. Roger Perry, Champlain College president, has joined the board of directors of Hill Associates.

Vermont Pure Holdings Ltd. has announced the acquisition of A.M. Fridays Inc., a distributor of bottled water, coffee and vending services. A.M. Fridays had annual revenue of $1.2 million in 1996. With this acquisition, Vermont Pure will be distributing from warehouses located in Manchester, N.H., and Sheldon, Conn., allowing the company a base for expanded distribution into northern Massachusetts.

Winooski Community Development Corp. (WCDC) has purchased the Gladstone Building at 94-96 West Canal St., Winooski, from Vermont National Bank. The transaction was handled by Doug Nedde and Steve Donahue of Redstone Commercial Group of Burlington, who also assisted in leasing the building to Professional Nurses Services. From left: Nedde, Steve Kendall of Vermont National Bank, Megan Price of Professional Nurses Services, Winooski Mayor Bill Norful, Doug Scott of WCDC, and Donahue.

July

Stowe advertising agency Harwood Moses Chambers and electronic advertising and marketing company Signal Advertising of Montpelier have teamed to form HMC-Signal.com, a Web design firm. Brian Harwood is president of the joint venture. [email protected] (802) 253-7141.

Paul A. Perrault, president and CEO of Chittenden Bank, has announced that an agreement has been reached on the purchase of substantially all the assets and assumption of substantially all the lilabilities, of Pomerleau Agency Inc. The Pomerleau Agency was founded in 1954 by Tony Pomerleau and serves insurance customers througout the northeast, providing special insurance programs to corporations and other insurance agencies. The bank has no plans to change the structure of the organization or the staff of the insurance agency.

Robert J. Lake, president of Majestic Corp. of America Inc. (MCA) of Burlington, has announced the addition of Paradee & Associates, Legal Investigations and Security Inc. to its holding company. MCA is the parent company of Majestic Repossessions & Transportation Corp., Majestic Property Services Inc. MCA specializes in debt recovery and loss prevention for financial institutions.

Blodgett Supply Co. of Williston has announced its acquisition of E.J. Monroe Co. of Plattsburgh and Ticonderoga, N.Y. E.J. Monroe, founded in 1947, a plumbing and heating wholesaler, serves an area from Albany to Watertown, N.Y. Blodgett Supply has six locations in Vermont and New Hampshire and sales offices in Maine and Connecticut.

Signature Electronic Signs Inc. of Colchester has announced its merger with Com-Net Software Specialists Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. Com-Net is an integrator of airport information systems and a supplier of integrated display systems to the airport and airline industries. Signature develops and manufactures electronic information systems for airports, train and bus terminals, movie theaters, sports arenas and venues where timely information must be communicated and updated by computer systems.

Tri-Star Realty in St. Albans has merged with the St. Albans office of Lang Associates. Linda Clark and Viola Perron, Tri-Star owners, established the real estate office in 1988, and have more than 38 years of combined experience in the field.

June

Paul S. Goldman has acquired WVMT-AM and WXXX-FM in Colchester from Jamestown, N.Y.-based James Broadcasting, owned by Goldman's father, Simon. Goldman has subsequently formed Sison Broadcasting Inc. as president and sole owner. Goldman has been employed by WVMT since 1978. James Broadcasting purchased WVMT in 1962, and acquired WXXX in 1990. It will continue to operate WJTN-AM and WWSE-FM in Jamestown.

The Rust family sold a two-unit apartment building at the corner of College and South Willard streets in Burlington to Frank Donath. The structure was known for many years as the Marannette Apartments, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Eric Farrell and Marybeth Rust of Coburn & Feeley Real Estate brokered the transaction.

James E. Lockridge announced that Big Heavy World has become co-publisher of 4/4, The Vermont Music Quarterly, in partnership with Seven Days newspaper and Good Citizen. Lockridge is art director and designer of the publication. He also contributes to the Web Wondering column and Paparazzi photo spread. Big Heavy World is a website, independent record label, and local music promoter.

The Merchants Bank sold a 27,000-square-foot retail/office building on North Main Street, Barre, to William C. Crowther III, David R. Loping and George H. Wilson. Eric Farrell of Coburn & Feeley Real Estate Inc. in Burlington represented the seller. Farrell also represented The Merchants Bank in its sale of a commercial property at 8 and 10 White St., South Burlington, to E.B.A.S. Inc.

May

Capstar Broadcasting Partners of Austin, Texas, a radio investment group formed in May 1996 by R. Steven Hicks, president/CEO of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc., a Dallas investment firm, and Knight Quality Stations of Boston have announced that Capstar has signed a letter of intent to acquire Knight Quality Stations’ eight New England radio stations including WEZF-FM in Burlington in a transaction valued at approximately $70 million. The expected completion date, after FCC approval and other closing conditions are met, is January 1998. The New England stations will join the 158 stations Capstar owns or has agreements or letters of intent to acquire. N. Scott Knight, president and CEO of Knight Quality Stations, and Robert A. Knight, executive vice president, have agreed to join Capstar’s senior management team following completion of the transaction.

Valet Air Services of South Burlington has been sold to HCA Airport Realty LLC of Burlington. Henry O. Button is the CEO/president; Andrew Button is the vice president. Andrew Button, who has been associated with Valet Air Services for three years as a pilot, will manage the daily operation of the company. Frank Donahue, past president of Valet Air, will remain as consultant to Andrew Button. Thomas Chase will serve on the board of directors. Valet Air began operations at the Burlington International Airport in 1984 as an air charter company.

L.T.H. Inc. has announced that the former Quality Suites at 1712 Shelburne Rd., South Burlington, has been converted to a Holiday Inn Express. The hotel has 84 guest suites and features meeting space, outdoor whirlpool (in season), the Sunset Ballroom, indoor pool, guest laundry, continental breakfast bar, work-out facility and What’s Your Beef restaurant. Rod Pickering has been named general manager, and Sherry Duso has been appointed director of sales marketing. There are more than 400 Holiday Inn Express properties worldwide.

A.N. Deringer Inc., a global integrated cargo transportation services provider, has announced it has completed the acquisiton of Maron Shipping Agency Inc., a freight forwarding business with locations in New York and Miami. Maron Shipping, founded in 1946, provides the movement of general cargo, container freight and project forwarding. Bill Maron, appointed director of ocean exports, and the Maron management team will continue as Deringer employees. A.N. Deringer’s services include international freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, customs brokerage, cargo insurance, and duty drawback, as well as operating meat inspection facilities. The firm has 33 U.S. offices and a worldwide agency network.

April

Occupational Health + Rehabilitation Inc. (OH+R) of Hingham, Mass., has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the assets and business operations of Immediate Care Health Centers located in South Burlington and Essex. The former owners, Jeffrey Allen, Susan Hetman and William Mercia, will stay on with OH+R. Dr. Allen will become operations director; Drs. Hetman and Mercia will provide occupational, primary, and urgent care medical services. OH+R, with 12 centers in four states, is an occupational medicine provider, offering a full range of services for the prevention, treatment and management of work-related injuries, including pre-employment exams, drug and alcohol testing, medical monitoring and work-site safety programs.

Ken Squier, owner of WDEV AM and FM in Waterbury and WLVB FM in Morrisville, is re-purchasing the Stowe FM station he founded in 1977 with two partners. A letter of agreement for Squier to purchase WVMX is in the hands of the FCC. When Squier and co-founders Bill Riley and Brian Harwood sold WRFB in 1977, the call letters were changed to WVMX. The station is currently owned by Sage Broadcasting of Stamford, Conn. Eric Michaels, general manager of WDEV and WLVB, and Riley will also be owners. Harwood, president of Harwood Moses Chambers in Stowe, will return to the station as a morning announcer. New call letters have not been assigned yet by the FCC.

VueCom Inc., a specialized communications company headquartered in Annapolis, Md., has announced its merger with Proximity Inc., a provider of videoconferencing services, including room brokerage, consulting and high impact videoconferencing productions. The merger will create a large public-access videoconferencing network to be named VueCom’s Proximity Network. The merger expands VueCom’s existing public-access videoconferencing network, which was launched in January 1997 with ITT Sheraton Corp.’s GlobalVue, and is supported by technology partner, PictureTel Corp.

March

Martin Fitzpatrick, president of Fitzpatrick's GMC Trucks Inc. of Burlington, has announced the acquisition of the local Buick automobile franchise. This union results in the creation of Fitzpatrick's Buick-GMC, located at 222 Dorset St., South Burlington, the former site of Lake Buick. The dealership sells the automobile and truck lines and a large inventory of pre-owned vehicles. At the same location, Fitzpatrick's Buick-GMC provides a full-line parts department and factory authorized dealer service and a body shop. Fitzpatrick's Medium Duty Truck line will remain at 27 Sears Lane, Burlington.

Valerie, Nancy and Len Vignola have purchased The Black Locust Inn in Waterbury from Anita and George Gajdos. The Vignolas will relocate from Hackettstown, N.J., to operate the six-room bed and breakfast inn, which features private baths, central air conditioning and handicapped accessibility. Gary Gosselin of Atlantic Lodging & Restaurant Brokers assisted both parties in the transaction.

Al Plante has purchased Earlybird Janitorial Services from Bill Adamson. This is an expansion of Plante's existing business in the building maintenance industry. Vermont Business Brokers assisted in the transaction.

Cynthia and Robin Lehman have purchased Huckleberry's at the Powderhound Resort in Warren from Huguette Roberts. The Lehmans, from Troutdale, Ore., will operate the dining facilities and manage the condominium/lodging facility. The Powderhound includes a restaurant, lounge, and 48 condominiums and motel units. Gary Gosselin of Atlantic Lodging & Restaurant Brokers assisted both parties.

Doug Nedde, Larry Williams and Steve Donahue of Redstone Commercial Group have purchased four commercial condominiums, totaling 31,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at 102 Kimball Ave., South Burlington, from Vermont National Bank. Redstone Commercial plans to offer the space for lease.

February

Drs. John and Marna Bisaccia have taken over the Williston Center for Chiropractic and Sportsmedicine, the former practice of Dr. Steven Taubman, at 168 Industrial Ave., Williston. John is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and is knowledgeable in the areas of fitness, nutrition and sports injuries. Marna's interests and skills are in women's health issues, pediatrics and geriatric care. In addition to chiropractic spinal care, both have training in carpal tunnel syndrome, extremity injuries and TMJ disorders.

Cigna HealthCare's Managed Care Network of Northern New England, with headquarters in Massachusetts and a satellite office in Burlington, has expanded its preferred provider (PPO) network in northern New England through a contract with Community Health Plan (CHP). CHP operates 16 staff model health centers throughout Vermont, which are available to Cigna PPO members.

Oil 'n Go, formerly Speedi Oil Change & Tune, has opened at the corner of Susie Wilson Road and David Drive in Essex Junction. Mark Hill is the owner. Rob Remillard is acting manager.

Roger and Barbara Merchant have sold Vermont Trophy & Engraving on Roosevelt Highway, Colchester, to Steve and Margi Swett. The business retails trophies, giftware and rubber stamps, and performs engraving for individuals, businesses, schools and organizations. The Swetts plan to expand the firm's products and services line. The sale was handled by the Burlington branch of Country Business Inc.

Minnesota-based Harmon AutoGlass, a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises Inc., has purchased Portland Glass in a stock-for-stock deal, which included Portland's 46 auto glass shops. The firm's replacement window and commercial construction divisions were not included in the transaction. Harmon AutoGlass has more than 270 shops in 36 states. The headquarters of Portland Glass will relocate to Minneapolis. However, the shops will retain their Portland Glass name.

January

Ken Richardson has purchased the Black Bear Inn, on the Bolton Valley Resort access road, from the Merchants Bank. Richardson was the general manager of the Austin Club in Austin, Texas. The Black Bear Inn is a 20-room facility with a full-service restaurant that serves in-house guests and the public. Wendy Beach of Atlantic Lodging and Restaurant Brokers assisted the buyer in the transaction. Gary Gosselin of Atlantic Lodging and Restaurant Brokers and Eric Farrell of Coburn and Feeley Real Estate assisted the seller.