January 4, 2014

SC business notebook, Jan 4

Firm acquires Cliffs communities; Demand for cars, trucks likely to soften; Super Bowl ad blitz begins

Firm acquires Cliffs communities

A Florida-based investment firm said it has become sole owner and manager of The Cliffs communities after acquiring other shareholder interests in a partnership that brought The Cliffs’ club and hospitality group out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Arendale Holdings of Jacksonville, Fla., said it closed the transaction to acquire the interests of SunTx, Urbana and The Carlile Group led by Steve and Penny Carlile.

Terms weren’t disclosed. With the acquisition, Arendale and its affiliates will control and manage real estate development and sales functions, as well as club operations for The Cliffs communities at Mountain Park, Valley, Glassy, Keowee Springs, Keowee Falls, Keowee Vineyards, Walnut Cove and High Carolina, the investment firm said.

Development has been frozen at High Carolina, The Cliffs community in the mountains near Asheville where professional golfer Tiger Woods said he would put his first U.S. course in 2007.

Demand for cars, trucks likely to soften

Automakers are going to have to work a little harder for your business in 2014.

After four years of strong sales increases – and limited discounts – as the economy improved, U.S. demand for new cars and trucks is expected to slow this year. That could mean better deals for buyers as car companies fight to increase their share of the market.

U.S. sales rose 8 percent to 15.6 million in 2013, thanks largely to a surge in pickup truck sales from the home construction and energy industries. For the 32nd year in a row, the Ford F-Series pickup was the country’s best-selling vehicle, with 763,402 sold. The Toyota Camry was the best-selling car with 404,484 sold.

Controls may end on genetically engineered corn, soybean seeds

The federal government on Friday proposed eliminating restrictions on corn and soybean seeds genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer, a move welcomed by many farmers but worrisome to scientists and environmentalists who fear it could invite growers to use more chemicals on crops.

The herbicide known as 2,4-D has had limited use in corn and soybean farming because it becomes toxic to the plants early in their growth. The new seeds would allow farmers to use the weed killer throughout the plants’ lives.

Super Bowl ad blitz begins

The Super Bowl is still about a month away but the ad blitzes are already starting. Pepsico plans to promote the halftime show it is sponsoring in a TV ad airing Saturday.

The commercial is part of a larger campaign by the beverage giant aimed at driving awareness for the show during the 48th annual big game on Fox on Feb. 2, featuring singer Bruno Mars.

The Greenville News and The Associated Press contributed.

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