NU Online News Service, Nov. 24, 2003, 11:18 a.m. EST – SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company Inc., New York, has invested $5 million in Banyan Mezzanine Fund L.P., Miami.[@@]

Banyan, an investment company set up by the federal Small Business Administration, plans to invest the money in firms in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina that are owned by African Americans, Hispanics and members of other minority groups.

Banyan will focus on businesses in the health care services, media, communications, manufacturing and distribution industries, SBLI USA says.