Company News For the Record

For the Record - February 2015

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EASTERN VIRGINIA

Canon Virginia plans to invest $100 million to expand its operations in Newport News. The company will add more printer cartridge production lines and will increase its toner manufacturing and filling operations. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $3 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services for the firm’s employee training. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Virginia Beach-based Dreamlight Inc. will expand its corporate headquarters and manufacturing operations, investing $1.1 million and adding 45 jobs. Dreamlight specializes in the design and manufacture of high-end athletic wear for gymnastics athletes. The company plans to purchase a building adjacent to its current site on Centerville Turnpike, adding 10,000 square feet of space. The Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority awarded an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $20,000 based on the capital investment. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Newport News-based Ferguson Enterprises Inc. has acquired HP Products. Indianapolis-based HP Products distributes products in eight categories, including janitorial, packaging, safety, laundry and dietary, lighting, equipment, food, beverage and textiles. Financial details about the transaction were not disclosed. (Daily Press)

Already one of the top employers in Hampton Roads, Norfolk Naval Shipyard plans to hire another 1,500 workers by the end of September, the close of the federal fiscal year. That will mean a net gain of about 800 positions at the yard in Portsmouth, after accounting for roughly 700 employees expected to be lost through retirements, resignations and transfers. About 300 of the new hires will be apprentices. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The Port of Virginia contributed $60.3 billion to Virginia’s economy in fiscal year 2013, according to a study by the College of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business. The study, last done for fiscal year 2006, shows the port’s impact growing along with its increased cargo volume. According to the study, the port’s economic impact in the commonwealth grew to $60.3 billion in 2013, compared with $41.1 billion in fiscal year 2006. The port set a volume record last year, handling 2.3 million cargo containers. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, announced it would lay off more than 300 employees in a cost restructuring effort aimed at saving $50 million by the end of 2015. Fred Jacobs, a SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., spokesman, said the 300 employees let go would be across the company. Jacobs declined to say how many employees of Busch Gardens Williamsburg were affected. The company says it’s offering severance benefits to laid off employees. (The Virginia Gazette)

Virginia Beach-based training solutions company Cape Henry Associates Inc. plans to expand its headquarters and create 36 new full-time jobs during the next 36 months.  The company, founded in 2004, currently has 108 employees, 90 percent of whom are veterans. The new jobs will pay an average annual salary of $65,000. The Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority awarded an Economic Development Investment Program grant of $75,000 based on the number of jobs created in the city. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

SHENANDOAH VALLEY

A grassroots investment group has purchased the Fort Valley Country Store, marking a milestone in the community’s yearlong effort to reopen the store. Stephen Hunter, president of Fort Valley Properties LLC, said the group’s 54 investors raised enough capital and completed the building’s purchase on Dec. 2. The store closed in January 2014 after running out of money to keep its doors open, leaving Fort Valley without its only grocery/convenience store. (The Shenandoah Valley-Herald)

The Power of Partnerships Alliance has a new marketing plan for areas surrounding Front Royal. A coalition of businesses and organizations focused on promoting activities within 30 minutes of the town, the alliance is working toward unfurling a new digital marketing platform. Ken Thurman, the alliance’s chairman who also serves as Warren County Airport Commission chairman, said the alliance would like to complete a database of nearly 300 organizations, tourist attractions and businesses in the area before the upcoming Irish Spring Festival in March.   (NVDaily.com)

Edinburg-based Swover Creek Farms expanded its operations to include a brewery, with a capacity to produce 20 gallons of beer a day. Co-owned by Lynn and David St. Clair, the farm has been in Lynn’s family for more than 100 years and has served locals and visitors as a “pick your own berry” farm during the summer, as well as a selling local sausages, jams and baked goods. (NVDaily.com)

Tuesday Morning officials have confirmed that the off-price retailer will move its Harrisonburg store into the former Goodwill retail and donation center on Market Street in February, vacating its spot in the Ron Martin building at University Boulevard. No firm opening date has been set for the new site, but company officials indicated that the opening would be simultaneous with the closing of the existing store so service to customers is not interrupted. (Daily News-Record)

The following universities in the Shenandoah Valley were named to Kiplinger’s annual list of Best College Values rankings: Washington & Lee University, Lexington (No. 4, Best College Values list and No. 2. on liberal arts colleges category); Christendom College, Front Royal (No. 57, liberal arts colleges category) and James Madison University, Harrisonburg (No. 21, Public colleges category). Kiplinger’s list ranks colleges on the level of education and affordability. (VirginiaBusiness.com)


SOUTHERN VIRGINIA
American National Bankshares Inc. finalized its merger with MainStreet BankShares Inc., the holding company for Franklin Community Bank, the Danville-based community bank announced in January. The merger, valued at $24.2 million, expands American National’s reach to the Roanoke metropolitan area, adding three branches in Franklin County and the Smith Mountain Lake area. (Work It, SoVa)

New College Institute expects industrial devices that will be installed in its Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing to be up and running by late spring. NCI, however, first must recruit someone to run the equipment. Recruitment has been postponed because of a state budget cut, so other options are being explored. The center, in NCI’s new building on the Baldwin Block uptown, is to have seven devices used in high-tech manufacturing processes. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Danville’s River District has gone through a lot in a few years’ time, but the biggest changes for Danville’s downtown are in its identity. It won’t be until May that the economic development department will unveil its formal rebranding of the River District. Changes have been accumulating along Main Street, Craghead Street and others through more than $80 million in private investment and more. (Danville Register & Bee)

Telvista Inc. plans to expand employment by about 300 people at its call center in Danville. Telvista is a Dallas-based call center outsourcing firm.  It will continue to occupy 62,000 square feet of office space at 119 Cane Creek Blvd., which is owned by Danville’s Industrial Development Authority. The company also plans to bring about 300 new jobs to the area. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Danville-based solar energy systems company U.S. Green Energy has temporarily shut down. Chairman and CEO Bob Bennet said the closure is a result of the Danville utility-rate increases. The firm’s heat costs increased from $700 per month to $1,500 per month. The sensitive solar materials need temperature control. If the facility is too cold, no construction can take place. The closure will not impact the firm’s repayments of a Tobacco Commission grant. Bennett expects to reopen by April or sooner. (Danville Register & Bee)

Snead & Williams PLLC, a Danville-based business advisory and certified public accounting firm, has changed its name to Snead, Williams and Mayhew. Charles W. Snead Jr., the firm’s managing director, said the name was changed to reflect the contributions of Michael Mayhew, who serves as a client service director for small to midsize businesses, employee benefit plans, nonprofit organization, local government units, individuals and partnerships in the areas of audit accountancy and taxation. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
Aldi Inc. signed a lease to open a grocery store in a former Books-A-Million store on Hershberger Road in Roanoke. Jake Copty, the real estate agent with Thalhimer who handled the lease, said the Aldi will take up part of the space at Books-A-Million and the rest of the building, will also be renovated and leased to a new tenant. Aldi, a German-based international company that also founded Trader Joe’s specialty groceries, has more than 10,000 stores. (The Roanoke Times)

Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources Inc. completed the sale of the assets of Amfire Mining Co. LLC to Rosebud Mining Co. for $86 million. The transaction included $75 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. Amfire’s assets included 10 mines and four preparation plants and loadouts in seven Pennsylvania counties. Alpha Natural Resources said its affiliates continue to operate two mines in southwestern Pennsylvania that are not connected with the deal — the Emerald and Cumberland mines near Waynesburg. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Germany-based Coperion Corp. plans a $3 million expansion of its manufacturing operation in Wythe County, which is expected to create 22 jobs. The project will be done in collaboration with real estate developer WYCO LLC. The Virginia Tobacco Commission approved $80,000 for the project. McAuliffe approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Wythe County with the project. The company makes equipment used in the plastics, chemicals, food and aluminum industries.  (The Associated Press)

Some 175 Southwest Virginia miners lost their jobs in December as Illinois-based SunCoke Energy announced the idling of three mines in Buchanan County. Dominion No. 36, a mine owned by SunCoke subsidiary Dominion Coal Corp., will be completely idled. Sections of two others, Dominion No. 7 and Dominion No. 30, will also be idled. The company will reduce coal production from about 1.1 million annual tons to about 500,000 annual tons. (Bristol Herald Courier)

Vaughan Furniture Co., a wholesale business with deep roots in Galax, announced in a December memo to employees that it will cease operations in the months to come. The privately held company currently employs 14 people in Galax, the memo stated.  (The Roanoke Times)

CENTRAL VIRGINIA
Centra now is the sole owner of Piedmont Community Health Plan, a Lynchburg-based health insurance provider with about 30,000 clients. For the last 19 years, Integrated Healthcare Inc. and Centra each have held a 50 percent share of the company. Centra bought IHI’s shares for $7.3 million in December.
(The News & Advance)

Richmond-based Dominion Resources Inc. announced plans to acquire a natural gas transportation company for $492.9 million. Dominion has agreed to purchase Carolina Gas Transmission (CGT) from SCANA Corp. CGT owns and operates nearly 1,500 miles of natural gas pipeline in South Carolina and southeastern Georgia. The company expected to complete the acquisition in January.
(VirginiaBusiness.com)

Richmond-based Hamilton Beach Brands Inc. acquired Weston Products LLC from Highgate Capital LLC. Weston Products, based in Strongsville, Ohio, makes specialty food processing products, including meat grinders, vacuum sealers, food dehydrators and meat slicers.  Weston Products will become Weston Brands under Hamilton Beach. Hamilton Beach said the acquisition allows it to expand beyond its small-kitchen and commercial-appliance businesses into the growing hunting, wild-game processing, specialty-food processing and specialty-housewares industries. Hamilton Beach is a subsidiary of Cleveland-based NACCO Industries Inc. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said it will buy Richmond-based Dorsey, Wright & Associates LLC, a data analytics and passive indexing firm, for $225 million. Nasdaq said the deal will enhance its capacity for growth in the index business, offering substantial opportunities in index licensing.  The deal is expected to close in the first quarter. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) was second in a national ranking of the 10 top state economic development organizations. The ranking by the American Economic Development Institute (AEDI) and Pollina Corporate Real Estate is based largely on information from the second stage of the AEDI/Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States report released earlier in 2014. Missouri took the No. 1 spot with a score of 112, followed by Virginia at 110.  VEDP, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to support the development and expansion of the economy of the commonwealth. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU announced a gift of $28 million from Children’s Hospital Foundation that will be used to build a children’s cardiac surgery program. VCU officials said the program would create specialized heart services for children that have not been available in the region before now. The gift was described as the largest dedicated to children’s health in VCU’s history, and is the second largest publicly announced gift ever to VCU’s MCV Campus. VCU Medical Center will supplement the $28 million gift with $14 million to provide the technology and equipment needed to run a full cardiac thoracic surgery program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Reston-based Avizia Inc., a telemedicine hardware solution-provider, merged with Arizona-based Emerge.MD, a telemedicine software provider.  The merger combines Avizia’s telehealth devices and video conferencing offerings with Emerge.MD’s software. The merged company is named Avizia. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Computer Sciences Corp. reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was investigating its accounting practices. CSC agreed to a penalty of $190 million and to retroactively adjust its financial statements from past years. The Falls Church-based contractor has been under a civil investigation since 2011 for alleged errors and irregularities in its accounting entries from work in the Nordics region, Australia and on a contract with the U.K.’s National Health Service. (The Washington Post)

McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc. sold Gannett Healthcare Group to Wisconsin-based OnCourse Learning, an online education and training provider. The sale price was not disclosed. GHG provides continuing education, certification test preparation, online recruitment, digital media, publications and related services for nurses and other health-care professionals in the United States. Gannett is spinning off its publications division to focus on its portfolio of local television stations. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

K2M Group Holdings Inc., a medical device company, will relocate its headquarters and research and development operations to a new 146,000-square-foot facility in Leesburg. The approximately $28 million expansion project is expected to create 97 jobs and retain 268 positions. The company has operated in Leesburg for 10 years.  Incentives included a $450,000 Governor’s Opportunity Fund grant and $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. The project will be financed with funds from Trammell Crow Co., Keane Enterprises Inc. and K2M, as well as the Town of Leesburg, Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Reston-based Vistronix Intelligence & Technology Solutions acquired Herndon-based ExaTech Solutions Inc. and Maryland-based Objective Solutions Inc. to enhance its intelligence services capabilities. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. ExaTech is an IT company providing software, systems and network engineering support. Objective Solutions’ key mission areas include big data, cyber, collection and advanced analytics. Vistronix also recently announced the acquisition of Maryland-based Agency Consulting Group. Vistronix provides national security information systems, solutions and services. (VirginiaBusiness.com)




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