TAMPA, Fla. - Savtira, the Ybor City tech company that promised so much growth and so many jobs before going bankrupt this year has caught a major break. A well-known local millionaire has come to the rescue.
The low point might have been in April, when the Sheriff came to help repossess computer equipment owned by a leasing company that hadn't been paid.
Today, the offices of the cloud computing company are deserted, with no one answering the phone. No staffers can be seen in the main office. A recent bankruptcy hearing showed how desperate things have become.
"They had to ask the judge for approval for a $31,000 loan from Savita just to keep the lights on over the weekend, so the electricity would be turned off," said Tampa Bay Business Journal reporter Margie Manning.
Manning says the loan from Savita, (not to be confused with Savtira) is a big deal and part of a much bigger, $4-million investment by health care mogul and philanthropist, Dr. Kiran Patel.
Patel is best known his Center for Global Solutions at USF and for his support of the young people in the arts at the Patel Conservatory.
Catherine McEwen, the bankruptcy judge, heartily approves of Patel's involvement.
"She said that Savtira could not have found a better savior and Doctor Patel's presence brings a lot of credibility to reorganize the company's finances," said Manning.
And even though the deal appears to give Dr. Patel control of 75% of the company, current CEO Timothy Roberts told me late Monday that he expects to remain at the helm of Savtira.
Dozens of former Savtira employees are owed back pay. Roberts wouldn't say if any of the $4 million investment will go to pay what they are owed.
Our call into Dr. Patel's office at Freedom Healthcare was not returned as of Monday evening.
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