SC business notebook, July 13

S.C. investigates Bluffton businessman for selling shares of his company

A Bluffton businessman is being investigated by the S.C. Attorney General Office’s Securities Division, five months after the office ordered him to stop selling shares of his company. On Feb. 25, the office ordered Peter Iodice and two other agents to stop selling shares of the Myrtle Beach-based Compass Energy Holdings, which had allegedly sold about $2 million worth of stock. The company planned to acquire and operate convenience stores along the East Coast, or lease them to other operators. The cease-and-desist order alleges that Iodice, president and chief executive officer of the company, misled potential investors by withholding information about his fraud conviction in 2007. One of the company’s agents, George Heffernan of Myrtle Beach, had been banned for life from the securities business in South Carolina, according to the order. The order also says the company failed to file a renewal notice to continue selling stock, and Iodice, Heffernan and another Compass agent were not properly registered to conduct such sales in the state.

N. Charleston approves tax break for big companies

North Charleston has approved a corporate tax break for the biggest companies in town, including Boeing. The (Charleston) Post and Courier reported the city council on Thursday cut the rate used to calculate annual fees for companies earning $250 million or more. There are only four such companies in the city. The city also created a new top rate tailored for Boeing that is 99 percent less than the current levy. The newspaper reports that, essentially, the deal was created so Boeing pays no more than about $1 million in yearly fees to North Charleston as aircraft production increases.

Panthers shirts get Carolinas mixed up

The people who print Carolina Panthers T-shirts for Nike apparently could use a geography lesson. The Charlotte Observer reports that the sports apparel maker recently offered a black Panthers T-shirt which includes a blue silhouette of the state of South Carolina, the team’s logo inside the silhouette and the letters “NC” in the upper left corner of the silhouette. A reader said he bought the shirt for $32. Spokesmen for Nike didn’t comment Friday.

Twinkies to be sold at Walmarts this weekend

Wal-Mart is making Twinkies available this weekend, even though Hostess says it asked retailers to wait until Monday to start selling the spongy yellow snack cakes. The world’s largest retailer announced Friday that the cakes were available at about 1,600 stores and that about 3,000 of its 4,000 U.S. stores should have them by Sunday morning.

The (Hilton Head) Island Packet and The Associated Press contributed.