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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Report: sugar land not worth $1.3-billion



An independent financial adviser hired by the state says the land U.S. Sugar wants to sell for Everglades restoration is worth $930-million -- not the $1.3-billion price tag that the state and the sugar company announced last week.

All of U.S. Sugar’s holdings -- all 187,000 acres of its land, plus its sugar mill, its railroad and its citrus operation -- would be worth $1.3-billion, according to the Nov. 13 letter to the water board from Duff & Phelps, the board’s New York-based financial adviser. Read the letter.


U.S. Sugar vice president Bob Coker (pictured) called the financial adviser “Huey, Dewey & Louie,” (after Donald Duck’s cartoon nephews) and said the firm “probably shouldn’t be licensed to work in Florida.”

That valuation was done for a business deal that’s not currently on the table,” he said. State officials said they're still working on making sure the deal is a good one for the taxpayers.

--Craig Pittman

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:47pm]


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