Haute 100 Miami Update: H. Wayne Huizenga

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—MiamiNew YorkLos Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 Miami list is H. Wayne Huizenga, a powerful sports figure and business man, respectively.

H. Wayne Huizenga

Category: Billionaires

Company: Miami Dolphins

Industry: Sports

What Makes Him Haute: This Ft. Lauderdale resident is constantly lauded for his business acumen and rightfully so. Huizenga is the only person ever to be responsible for six companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and to build three Fortune 1000 companies, one of which is Blockbuster, which he sold to Viacom in 1994 for $8.5 billion. Beyond that, he is the man responsible for bringing professional baseball to South Florida, when he was awarded the Florida Marlins in 1991. He followed that up by introducing the NHL to South Florida via the Florida Panthers in 1992. For around 15 years, he was also the majority owner of the Miami Dolphins and Dolphin Stadium, making him the only man to have owned all three professional sports teams in a region. He sold all but 5 percent ownership of the Dolphins to Stephen Ross last year.

What Makes Him Haute Now: Coolbrands International Inc. announced its merger with H. Wayne Huizenga’s Swisher International Inc., a hygiene solutions company, in a share-swap deal worth an estimated $103 million, the announcement comes after reports of the possible union earlier this week.

News of the merger sent shares in Coolbrands up to nearly 24 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the market opened. Coolbrands’ newfound growth in share value can be seen as a standing beacon of the power Huizenga commands, having raised several companies, including Waste Management Inc. and AutoNation Inc. to Fortune 500 status from the studs. Huizenga is slated to become chairman of the new company. “I am very excited to be returning to the public arena in order to further develop Swisher as a major provider of warewash, laundry, cleaning chemical and facility service solutions,” said Huizenga in a release.

The merger is expected to close in late November.

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