‘Daily Report’ Week in Review: Tennessee company buys Baton Rouge benefits company for $127M, Jolie Pearl set to join White Star Market, and much more

Baton Rouge-based Starmount Life Insurance Co./AlwaysCare Benefits was sold to Unum, a Tennessee publically traded company, this week for $127 million, a deal that company execs say will lead the company from a regional player to the national stage.

Starmount, which brought in nearly $100 million in revenue in 2014, will remain anchored in Baton Rouge, as part of the deal, and become Unum’s hub for dental and vision benefits.

Also this week, Daily Report broke the news that the owners of Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar will open a second location of the popular downtown eatery in Mid City’s White Star Market. Dubbed Jolie @ The Market, the restaurant will offer a slimmed-down version of the downtown location’s menu.

And Daily Report also introduced Baton Rouge to Cravin’ Crawfish, a drive-thru boiled seafood business operated out of an old car wash on Sherwood Forest Boulevard.

Here’s a rundown of some of the other top stories making headlines in Daily Report this week:

  • Robert Fresh Markets, the New Orleans-based supermarket chain that earlier this year announced plans to buy two Matherne’s supermarkets in Baton Rouge, has decided not to buy the Bluebonnet Boulevard store after all.
  • Albemarle CEO Luke Kissam sent North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory a letter earlier this week saying the state’s passage of an anti-LGBT law is inconsistent with the company’s values and has urged the state’s legislative leaders to repeal it in an upcoming legislative session.
  • Beginning in a few weeks, parts of the Team Honda dealership’s nearly 20-year-old facility on Siegen Lane will undergo a much-needed expansion and renovation.
  • The founder of Buc-ee’s, the renowned Texas rest stop chain that announced last month it is opening its first store outside the Lone Star State in Baton Rouge at the Greens at Millerville, says the location is ideal for several reasons.
  • In the next 30 days, Southern Lifestyle Development of Lafayette, will seek bids for the infrastructure work on the first phase of the Settlement at Shoe Creek, a massive 150-acre traditional neighborhood development planned in Central.
  • The new owner of the 14.3-acre Oaks of Kingsbridge apartment complex off Sherwood Forest Boulevard paid $14.75 million for the 343-unit complex, or about $43,000 per unit.
  • A Baton Rouge federal judge has ordered Walter Dumas, whose voluntary resignation from the practice of law was approved this week, to comply with an IRS investigation.
  • In the six months since it began campaigning to make East Baton Rouge Parish completely smoke-free, the Smoke-free EBR coalition has spent roughly $300,000 on a media campaign to educate residents about the dangers of secondhand smoke.

—Ryan Broussard

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