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Tampa Business & Commercial Law Blog

Microsoft acquires Minecraft gaming company for $2.5 billion

Florida families may be familiar with the indie game Minecraft, produced by Mojang, a Swedish company. However, they may be surprised at the price tag associated with a recent acquisition of both Mojang and its games. Microsoft has spent $2.5 billion to acquire the popular kids' video game. Minecraft has sold in excess of 54 million units for a variety of platforms.

The new CEO of Microsoft indicates that the Minecraft franchise has a vibrant community and offers a wealth of opportunities in an area that can span numerous devices and involve billions of hours of activity time on an annual basis. Other Microsoft officials indicate that there is a commitment to maintain the community features available to those who play Minecraft. The founders of Majong will be exiting the organization upon completion of the acquisition.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may help a company restructure its debt

Florida businesses sometimes experience financial difficulties that might benefit from a type of bankruptcy known as reorganization bankruptcy. It allows a company to reorder their debt agreements with creditors. Restructuring allows a company to become less burdened by debt and remain in operation during the process.

A corporation or its creditors begin Chapter 11 bankruptcy by filing a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It may be a voluntary filing by the debt holder or an involuntary one filed by the company's creditors. The debtor supplies the court with a list of all assets it owns and all liabilities it holds as well as contracts and leases. The debtor must also show income 60 days before filing, what net income the debtor expects monthly and whether that income is expected to change. The debtor must prove to the court credit counseling was undertaken.

Business bankruptcies have a lot of moving parts

Florida residents who are entering bankruptcy may not realize how many parts can be involved in the process. For individuals, time must be spent gathering details of debts and assets; often, additional information is requested by the court even after research is completed. For businesses considering Chapter 11 bankruptcy, things can become more complex.

Business bankruptcies often involve things such as business valuation and a review of accounts. Court decisions may be based on a variety of factors, including collateral, state of assets and debits and the plan for the business moving forward. Understanding the legal details of the business bankruptcy process is essential for navigating complex arrangements and increasing the chance of a successful hearing outcome.

Positive hearing for SiriusXM in business litigation case

Florida businesses and residents who are involved in creative endeavors know that things such as copyright and royalty laws play an important part in the industry. From small brands working to protect their products and images to large companies duking it out over the rights to others music, business litigation in the entertainment and creative worlds has always carried the potential for great value or great loss.

Currently, satellite radio company SiriusXM is involved in a legal battle with entities including Universal, Sony and Warner. According to reports, SiriusXM broadcasts music that originated before 1972 without paying royalties, which caused several of the major record labels to file a lawsuit against the company.

Merger between 2 Florida banks likely to impact local market

Two banks in Florida are merging to create First Florida Credit Union. The merger, which is between First Florida Credit Union and State Employees Credit Union, will create the third largest bank in the banks' home area. According to reports, the merged institution will serve 61,000 members throughout the state and hold approximately $725 million in assets.

The banks both have a presence throughout the state, and it's expected that the merger will impact the overall Florida banking market. Specifically, the merger may make the market more competitive, as it positions the new bank for growth.

Chapter 11 versus other bankruptcy types

Bankruptcy is a daunting consideration for any person or business, and understanding the types of bankruptcy that apply to a given situation is one of the first steps in moving forward with financial recovery or reorganization. For Florida businesses, Chapter 11 is one of the most pertinent forms of bankruptcy, but for individuals who own a business but also have personal finances at stake, Chapter 7 or 13 may also be relevant.

According to the United States Bankruptcy Court Middle District of Florida, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is for entities that don't qualify for Chapter 13 filing. In most cases, that includes partnership businesses and corporations but can also include some individuals.

Florida-based Red Lobster owner sells restaurant chain

For businesses in Florida and across the nation, restructuring assets and liabilities is often a first step in creating a foundation for future success. Corporate restructuring doesn't always mean a business is in financial or other trouble; it can be a sign that a company is streamlining operations or seeking better opportunities. According to a statement from Florida-based Darden Restaurants, Inc., the closing of a recent business sale is just such a sign for the company.

Darden reportedly closed on a deal to sell its Red Lobster business, which is 45 years old, to a private equity firm. The firm, Golden Gate Capital, purchased both liabilities and assets of the Red Lobster business for a reported $2.1 billion. Unlike many company purchases, which are closed based on credit or stock transfers, the purchase of Darden's Red Lobster-related assets and liabilities was done with cash.

Florida condo owners stave off foreclosure with bankruptcy

There are many reasons money becomes tight whether you're running a single household in Florida or a business. For businesses, Chapter 11 bankruptcy can offer some relief from financial issues, though there are tradeoffs to be made in filing for bankruptcy.

One business filed for Chapter 11 on July 21. The business, Lauren Enterprises, is managed by two members. The members, along with the business, were involved in a foreclosure judgement. According to reports, PNC Bank won the judgement against the business and its members for $7 million.

Merger talks end following opposition from multiple sources

Businesses across the world consider mergers and acquisitions as a way to expand resources to reach goals. When considering a merger or other action, it's important to understand whether the step would contribute to long-term interests for the business. It's also important to understand whether various entities within the business and the related community will support the merger or other action.

In the case of a merger considered by the Scripps Research Institute, support was apparently in contention once news got out about merger talks. The Institute had entered into a non-binding letter of intent with a major university regarding a merger. According to reports, the intent of the talks were to explore whether partnership would benefit both parties.

Trader Joe's facing business litigation for eliminating middleman

Trader Joe's, a grocery store popular in Florida and elsewhere, made a move to get rid of the middleman in its dairy operations. This rearranged the supply chain, much to the frustration of the vendors and brokers who were cut out. Two of those companies have recently started business litigation against the store on account of the changes.

The companies involved in the lawsuit are Dairy Smart, Inc. and Natural Dairy Products, LLC, which is also known by the acronym of NDP.

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