Originally created 08/04/98

Business briefs

Colonial Properties enters local market

Colonial Properties Trust, one of the largest diversified real estate investment trusts in the United States, announced it has purchased the In The Pines apartment complex in Augusta for $8.8 million.

The apartments will be renamed Colonial Village at Walton Way. The purchase is Colonial Properties' first entrance into the Augusta apartment market. The Birmingham, Ala.,-based company has 101 multifamily, retail and office properties valued at $2 billion across the Southeast.

Paul Earle, Colonial executive vice president, said the creation of jobs by companies such as Bridgestone/Firestone will improve Augusta's apartment market.Potash earning declinePotash Corp., of Saskatchewan Inc., reported second quarter earnings of $89.1 million, or $1.64 per share, down from a record $97 million, or $1.81 per share in the same period a year ago.

However, the company also reported record gross margin of $186.6 million, up from $184.2 million in second quarter 1997.

Gray completes Busse purchase

Albany-based Gray Communications Systems Inc. announced Monday that it has completed purchase of all of the outstanding capital stock of Busse Broadcasting Corp. for $112 million.

The purchase price includes the assumption of Busse's debt.

Locally, Gray Communications owns WRDW-TV (Channel 12). The purchase includes television stations in Nebraska and Wisconsin including KOLN-TV, the CBS affiliate serving the Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Neb., market; its satellite station KGIN-TV, the CBS affiliate serving Grand Island, Neb.; and WEAU-TV, an NBC affiliate serving the Eau Claire-La Crosse, Wis., market.Merger creates largest chain

Local stores to stay with Dillard's

LITTLE ROCK -- To avoid having an excessive number of stores in a number of markets, Dillard's Inc. said Monday it would sell 26 of the department stores it is acquiring in its $2.9 billion buyout of Mercantile Stores Co.

Augusta's three JB White locations, however, will remain with Dillards, said Julie Bull, director of investor relations.

Proffit's Inc., based at Birmingham, Ala., will buy 15 stores in Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina and Tennessee. That includes the store in Spartanburg, S.C.

Most of the other JB White stores in South Carolina that Dillard's is buying in the Mercantile deal will become Belk stores as part of a swap with Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk Inc.

Dillard's and Mercantile had 54 overlapping stores in 23 markets when Dillard's announced in May it would acquire Mercantile for $80 a share. Approval of the deal has been held up while regulators look over the transaction.


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