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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: L.A. Bound!

Jan 12, 2024 09:56AM ● By Donna Walker

Breeze Airways Announces Nonstop Flight from Charleston

Breeze Airways said it would add eight new nonstop routes this spring, including its first service from San Diego -- to Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Raleigh-Durham and Pittsburgh, all of which are new routes from San Diego International.


Breeze also is adding additional nonstops from New York/Westchester, Los Angeles, Charleston, Cincinnati, Hartford and Raleigh-Durham as well as daily one-stop/no plane change ‘BreezeThru’ service between San Diego and both Providence and Hartford.


Fares on the new nonstops start as low as $59 one-way, if purchased by Jan. 15, for travel by Sept. 3.


Further, Breeze is offering 35 percent off all roundtrip base fares on travel from Jan. 15 through May 22 if the promo code ‘GETFRESH is used at checkout on the Breeze App or at


The promotion is available through Jan. 12 (11:59pm ET) and includes every route in Breeze’s coast-to-coast network spanning 46 cities in 26 states.


From Charleston, SC:

Los Angeles, CA (Summer seasonal service, Fridays and Mondays, starting May 3, Nice from $129 one way. Route flown on Airbus A220-300 aircraft.)


From Los Angeles, CA:

Charleston, SC (Summer seasonal service, Fridays and Mondays, starting May 3, Nice from $129 one way. Route flown on Airbus A220-300 aircraft.)


Breeze Airways began service in May 2021 and has been ranked as one of the U.S. best domestic airlines for the last two years by Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards (#2 in 2022 and #4 in 2023).


Breeze offers a mix of more than 150 year-round and seasonal nonstop routes between 46 cities in 27 states.  Founded by aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, Breeze operates a fleet of Embraer 190/195 and Airbus A220-300 aircraft. 

The Capital Corporation Advises Current Tools, Inc. On Partnership with LFM Capital

The Capital Corporation announced LFM Capital, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, acquired Current Tools, Inc. headquartered in Wellford, South Carolina.


Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Current Tools is a leading manufacturer of industrial tools for electrical contractors, offering more than 100 products, including cable pullers, conduit benders, and knockout sets.


LFM is a leading private equity firm focused on lower middle market manufacturing and industrial services businesses.


Since Current Tools’ inception almost 25 years ago, the company has grown from a single product company and a handful of employees to a company now with over 70 team members and more than 100 product offerings. 


John Scovil, CEO and founder of Current Tools said, “We see a lot of continued growth ahead for Current Tools and by partnering with LFM Capital, we will have more resources than ever to continue that growth while maintaining the same level of service our loyal customers have come to expect.”


LFM Managing Director Chris Lin said, “LFM is excited to leverage our network and manufacturing expertise to help achieve the next stage of growth, while ensuring we uphold Current Tools’ commitment to superior customer satisfaction.” 


Devin Green, COO of The Capital Corporation said, “With Current Tools’ rapid and accelerating growth, it was critical to find and qualify the right partner who can help streamline that growth while lowering execution risk for the company.  The marriage between Current Tools and LFM Capital has already proven to be a dynamic fit that will benefit all stakeholders.”


The Capital Corporation, a leading investment bank headquartered out of Greenville, South Carolina, and with offices in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina, served as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Current Tools on the transaction. 


From its 200,000 square foot, state-of-art facility, Current Tools produces more than 100 specialty tools for electrical contractors throughout North America.


LFM targets lead or control investments in U.S.-based lower middle market manufacturing and industrial services companies with at least $3 million of EBITDA and enterprise values ranging from $15 million to $125 million.


Since 1991, The Capital Corporation has provided merger and acquisition services to lower middle market companies.


The Capital Corporation’s team of professionals has closed hundreds of transactions and leverages their backgrounds from Wall Street and Fortune 500 companies for the benefit of its clients. 


The Capital Corporation is one of only four investment banks in the United States that has achieved the exclusive IMAP membership, affording unparalleled access to a global buyer network across three dozen countries.  

illumifin Acquires AmeriLife's Administrative Partners of America

Greenville, South Carolina-based illumifin, a leading third-party insurance administration and technology provider, said it has acquired Administrative Partners of America (APA), the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of AmeriLife, a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions.


As one of the largest independent marketing organizations (IMO) in the U.S., AmeriLife and APA administer approximately 230,000 policies that generate $3.1 billion of premiums in life insurance, annuities and Medicare Supplement products annually.


APA employs nearly 200 associates in Clearwater, Florida, and Salt Lake City, Utah, all of whom will transition to illumifin as part of the sale.


Peter Goldstein, president and CEO of illumifin, said, "This is our second life and annuities acquisition that complements our existing TPA business and further transforms illumifin. We are constantly identifying new opportunities that will enhance our value proposition and make us a key strategic partner to our clients.


Goldstein added, "AmeriLife has a solid platform with key client overlap that strengthens our relationships and opens the door for significant expansion opportunities. We are very excited to build a partnership with AmeriLife to help support their future growth efforts."


Scott R. Perry, chairman and CEO of AmeriLife, added, "illumifin is a great home for our TPA operations, and APA's customers will benefit greatly from access to a broad set of capabilities and scalable services across all lines of business."


Perry added, "We're equally as excited to begin a new era of partnership with illumifin, and – together with our carrier partners – introduce new products to market, fuel our collective growth, and continue transforming our industry for years to come."


illumifin was formed by Abry Partners, a leading Boston-based private equity firm, and Hoplon Capital, an asset manager focused on digital transformation and disruption.

Duke Energy Announces Dividend Payments to Shareholders

 Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) on Jan. 11, 2024, declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $1.025 per share.


The dividend is payable on March 18, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb.16, 2024.


The company also declared a quarterly cash dividend on its Series A preferred stock of $359.375 per share payable on March 18, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business Feb.16, 2024. This is equivalent to $0.359375 per depositary share.


In addition, the company declared a semiannual cash dividend on its Series B preferred stock of $24.375 per share payable on March 18, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business Feb.16, 2024.


Duke Energy has paid a cash dividend on its common stock for 98 consecutive years.


Duke Energy, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of America's largest energy holding companies.


Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity.


Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.

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