Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Signs and Portents: Growth, Better Prices, Fewer Mergers

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Signs and Portents: Growth, Better Prices, Fewer Mergers

Article excerpt

ANOTHER SOUTHWEST FLORIDA company I had the pleasure of covering back in my reporting days was Heico Corp.

In those days, Heico owned Trilectron Industries, a north Manatee County company that makes air-conditioning systems used to cool commercial aircraft when they are on the ground.

Heico sold the business to the giant conglomerate Illinois Tool Works Inc. in 2000, and the business has continued its strong growth.

Just this month, Illinois Tool Works announced plans to move another business to Florida from Ohio that will include 42 jobs.

GSE Holdings Inc., which now technically owns the Trilectron and ITW Military GSE units near Palmetto, plans to bring its Hobart Ground Power business from Troy, Ohio, to the region.

The sister units will share space at the 83,000-square-foot operation at 1001 U.S. Highway 41 N. GSE's plant is expected to be expanded to almost 100,000 square feet.

The businesses there now employ 105.

But back to Heico.

Before selling Trilectron, the company added another company to its stable: Radiant Power Corp., which had been based in Santa Ana, Calif., but now employs 60 at its headquarters and plant near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Radiant has been one of those great under-the-radar companies in the region, expanding steadily, moving into a combined headquarters from disparate sites a few years back and, just this month, acquiring another player in the aerospace business that promises even more growth.

I won't steal any more thunder from Michael Pollick's cover story.

Check it out for yourself on page 6D.

We're being watched

The Sarasota-Bradenton market continues to get noticed -- and searched for -- in the real estate arena.

As northern buyers helped propel the local market to some of the best sales figures in seven years during March, they were clicking away on the Realtor.org site owned by the Florida Association of Realtors.

Our market was No. 37 on the list of the 146 most-searched-for sites.

The only other Florida markets to rank above us were Orlando, always on the national radar because of its international-scale attraction; West Palm Beach; Fort Lauderdale; and Miami. …

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