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Commissioner wants port deal delayed

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Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms will ask Tampa port commissioners today to postpone hiring a new cargo terminal operator whose parent is being acquired by an Arab company. Citing possible terrorist threats to port security, members of Congress have criticized the Bush administration's approval of the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Tampa port director Richard Wainio will recommend that commissioners authorize him to complete a deal with Peninsular to replace the terminal operator SSA Gulf Inc., which handles containers and other cargo at the port's public docks.

Tampa developer buys in Gainesville

Tampa developer Ken Mamula is venturing into Gainesville with a $300-million deal to buy apartments, a shopping center and 130 acres of vacant land two blocks from the University of Florida. Mamula, president of Florida Southeast Development LLC, has built and managed 32,000 homes, but this is his largest project. Mamula plans to refurbish 437 apartments into condos and expand the shopping center into a "lifestyle village" with gas lights, cafes and a public amphitheater. Tenants include Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's and Publix.

AOL to offer business version of AIM

America Online Inc. and WebEx Communications Inc. are teaming up to provide a business version of AOL's popular AIM instant-messaging software. Called AIM Pro, the business version will offer more security - communications, for instance, will be encrypted - and more features to help workers collaborate, using conferencing tools offered by WebEx. AIM Pro users can communicate with those on the basic AIM, although not all features, including encryption, would be fully available. Prices were not announced, but AOL said a monthly subscription fee is likely.


Wellspring Capital Management LLC is seeking to buy Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. An incorrect name was used in a story Saturday.