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VOL. 44 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 24, 2020

FirstBank merging with Franklin Synergy

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FB Financial Corporation, parent company of FirstBank, and Franklin Financial Network, Inc., parent company of Franklin Synergy Bank, have jointly announced their entry into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Franklin will be merged with and into FB Financial.

Franklin is headquartered in Franklin with 15 branches throughout Williamson, Rutherford and Davidson counties in the Nashville MSA. Franklin is the leading community bank in its primary markets, demonstrated by its strong market shares in Williamson and Rutherford counties. Franklin reported total assets of $3.9 billion, loans of $2.8 billion and deposits of $3.2 billion as of Dec. 31.

The combination significantly enhances FirstBank’s operations in the Nashville MSA, specifically in the attractive Williamson and Rutherford counties where Franklin has a strong community presence. Pro forma for the transaction, FirstBank’s deposit market share will be No. 6 in the Nashville MSA, #1 in Williamson County and #2 in Rutherford County.

“We are very excited to announce our proposed merger with Franklin,” says Christopher T. Holmes, FB Financial’s president and CEO. “Franklin is a well-known, high-service community bank with a leading position in Williamson and Rutherford counties. We are joining forces with the leading community bank in two of the most attractive counties in our market area. We look forward to building on the strong customer relationships that Franklin has fostered.”

Franklin’s CEO, J. Myers Jones III, commented, “Our team is excited to join the FB Financial family. We believe that this transaction benefits all of our stakeholders, and we firmly believe that we will be better together. Our focus will remain concentrated on our customers, and our ability to serve their needs will be stronger than ever.”

As part of the transaction, key Franklin executives have agreed to remain with FB Financial following the closing and have entered into employment arrangements that will become effective upon the completion of the merger with FB Financial.

Following the transaction, FB Financial will establish a primary operations center and its mortgage headquarters for the combined company at Franklin’s existing corporate headquarters in downtown Franklin.

AllianceBernstein adds to Nashville investment

AllianceBernstein is expanding its Nashville headquarters, investing $11.4 million and adding 200 jobs.

The expansion brings AB’s planned investment in Nashville to more than $80 million. In May 2018, the company relocated its headquarters from New York, bringing 1,050 jobs to Middle Tennessee. The additional 200 jobs will fill various tech, operations and compliance functions.

AB anticipates moving into its permanent downtown headquarters at Nashville’s Fifth + Broadway development by the end of 2020.

AB is a leading investment management firm that offers a comprehensive range of research and diversified investment services to institutional investors, individuals and private wealth clients in major markets. The financial firm has approximately $623 billion in assets under management, nearly 3,800 employees and offices in 25 countries.

Frost Brown Todd a ‘Best Place’ for LGBTQ

The Human Rights Campaign annual Corporate Equality Index ratings lists Frost Brown Todd as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

The firm located in 13 markets, including Nashville, and nine states, received a 100% rating for the sixth consecutive year and is one of more than 680 major U.S. businesses to earn top marks in 2020.

The CEI is a national benchmarking survey and report that reviews corporate policies and practices related to workplace equality. The HRC evaluates all types of entities from the largest law firms and publicly traded businesses to smaller and privately held companies.

FBT met the three key pillars of the CEI’s rating criteria, including non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; and supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility.

IVX Health completes unified rebranding

Brentwood-based IVX Health, a provider of outpatient infusion centers, has completed a nationwide rebranding.

The company, previously known as Infusion Express, is applying its new name, visual identity and refined brand strategy to its existing U.S. locations.

Plans are to expand the company’s physical footprint to more than 30 infusion centers across 10 markets by the end of the year. The unified brand enables IVX Health to ensure a cohesive experience for all existing and future patients as it rapidly grows its physical footprint, supported by new national payor contracts and its refined clinical model.

Since taking the helm at then-Infusion Express in 2018, Ghertner has led the company through a variety of milestones – expanding from a regional to national footprint, hiring its key leadership team, and formalizing its patient experience. The company also relocated its headquarters to the Nashville area and has experienced strong investor commitment through key funding rounds.

Des-Case announces new product launch

Goodlettsville-based Des-Case Corporation, manufacturer of specialty filtration products that improve process equipment reliability and extend lubricant life, announces the launch of its Varnish Removal System.

Varnish is a common problem often seen in applications that use the new group II & III base oils. It’s a result of water problems, air problems, temperature fluctuations and oil degradation. This is often a problem in a variety of industrial applications like plastic injection molding & blow molding machines, EHC systems of gas and steam turbines, hydraulic presses and more.

Varnish results in valve sticking, shorter fluid life, shorter filter life, reduced equipment performance and unscheduled downtime.

ORCA acquired by MacNeil Pride Group

Outdoor Recreation Company of America, a supplier of premium coolers, drinkware and other outdoor accessories, has been purchased by MacNeill Pride Group, a diversified global designer and manufacturer of sporting goods and related products.

Terms were not disclosed, but ORCA will continue to operate from its Nashville headquarters.

Founded in 2012, its product line includes hard-sided coolers, soft-sided backpack style coolers and a full line of stainless-steel drinkware.

ORCA consistently outranks competitors in cooler ice-retention tests and customer satisfaction, and also holds more licenses than any other cooler brand with over 80 NCAA teams, 32 NFL teams, 30 MLB teams and 30 NHL teams.

ORCA joins a portfolio that includes PrideSports, the world’s leading maker of cleats, studs and spikes for multisports under the CHAMP and Softspikes brands; Pride Manufacturing Company LLC, which creates engineered wood products such as golf tees, cigar tips and toys; and MacNeill Engineering, which designs, manufactures and tests footwear components.

OneOncology adds New England company

OneOncology, a national network of independent community oncologists headquartered in Nashville, has announced its new partnership with Eastern Connecticut Hematology and Oncology as the company expands its footprint across New England.

ECHO, a privately-owned, independent practice, has served north and southeast Connecticut for more than 30 years. ECHO’s physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and administrative staff join OneOncology’s network of over 250 physicians practicing at more than 150 sites of care and serving approximately 200,000 patients every year.

ECHO’s robust clinical trials program aligns with OneOncology’s networkwide clinical initiatives directed by their all-physician governance board called OneCouncil.

Kapur will serve on OneCouncil along with chairwoman Natalie Dickson, M.D., OneOncology’s Chief Medical Officer Lee Schwartzberg, M.D., and other oncologists in the network.

Website design firm expands to Nashville

OMNICOMMANDER, a website design, hosting and marketing startup focused on supporting credit unions, has expanded its operations to include a 10-person office in Nashville.

Operations are based in Miramar Beach, Florida, and the company has remote employees in New York, New Hampshire, and Texas.

Fiber optic agreement to bring system to Nashville

An agreement between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Osprey Communications includes a plan for Nashville.

A Fiber Optic Resource Sharing agreement and the accompanying permits enable Osprey to construct an underground, multiconduit fiber optic system in the VDOT limited-access right of way from Haymarket, Virginia, to Bristol, Virginia. From the Virginia-Tennessee border, Osprey plans to continue the deployment to Nashville.

VDOT’s Fiber Optic Resource Sharing program allows telecom providers to install fiber resources within limited-access rights of way, which are not congested with other utility installations. Additional efficiencies are gained as providers coordinate solely with VDOT along these routes rather than multiple landowners.

In exchange, VDOT can receive compensation in any combination of goods, services and/or cash.

Animax Design sold to Cityneon Holdings

Cityneon Holdings has announced the completion of the acquisition of Animax Designs, Inc., a Nashville-based provider of animatronic characters.

Animax was founded by Chuck Fawcett in 1989 and recently celebrated it 30th year anniversary in the creation of cutting-edge animatronic and interactive characters, animated costumes and puppets.

With a workforce of 150 highly-skilled employees, Animax serves some of the largest operators in the world in themed entertainment, live attractions and location-based entertainment.

The Animax transaction was based on a combination of cash and shares in Cityneon, and Animax is expected to contribute immediately to the revenue and profits of the Group post acquisition.

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