Company News For the Record

For the Record - January 2015

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EASTERN VIRGINIA
Dollar Tree Inc. extended the timeline for its proposed $9.2 billion purchase of Family Dollar Stores Inc., saying it probably wouldn’t take effect until February. The Chesapeake-based discount chain said in November that it would not close on the deal before Dec. 30 unless the Federal Trade Commission signed off on the takeover before then. In a December filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dollar Tree changed that to February “to facilitate the FTC’s continued review and in light of the practicalities associated with the transaction.” The deal must be approved by the FTC and Family Dollar shareholders, who were scheduled to vote Dec. 23. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Liberty Source PBC, a new company that opened its headquarters at Fort Monroe in 2014, says it landed a three-year contract with AOL Inc. to do finance and accounting work that previously had been outsourced to India. Liberty Source has hired 95 workers — half being military spouses and 20 percent veterans — for the AOL work, said President and CEO Steve Hosley. In July, the company announced plans to employ nearly 600 people in Hampton during the next few years by taking on work. (Daily Press)

The Navy’s Military Sealift Command is consolidating its headquarters in Norfolk, and bringing with it about 500 jobs from Washington, D.C. The command supplies ocean transportation for the Navy and other services, much like the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command supplies transport by air, said Nathan Potter, command spokesman. The move could double the command’s presence in Norfolk, where 569 employees are already based. The move will take five years and cost $31 million, according to a statement. (Daily Press)

UST Global, a California-based information technology company, has opened an office in Norfolk and plans to hire more than 100 people, with a focus on veterans. Initially, UST’s employees will do work, including computer maintenance and new applications, for Amerigroup, the Virginia Beach-based subsidiary of the health-care company WellPoint, said B.G. Moore, chief of staff for UST. The company employs 15,000 people worldwide, Moore said. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Blue Bell Creameries plans to start building a new distribution center in Suffolk in 2015. The company is investing $5.8 million toward building a 14,000-square-foot custom facility on 2.5 acres in Northgate Commerce Park. Blue Bell haS been leasing cold storage space at Suffolk Cold Storage since 2013, and officials with the company are looking to hire six new employees, bringing the total number of Blue Bell employees in Suffolk to 20. (Daily Press)

Texas-based Commercial Metals Co. will invest $12 million to relocate and expand its manufacturing operation in King George County. The project will retain about 40 existing jobs and create another 20 new positions. The Fortune 500 company and its subsidiaries manufacture, recycle and market steel and metal products, related materials and services. The company is eligible for rail access funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Toano-based Lumber Liquidators said it was relocating its distribution centers in Hampton and Suffolk to a new East Coast Distribution Center in Sandston, a move that will impact 121 of the company’s employees. All the affected employees have been offered to transfer to the new location and 117 accepted, Lumber Liquidators said in an email statement sent in November. “We are supporting them by subsidizing commuting options and offering a relocation bonus to those moving their homes closer to the Sandston location,” the statement said. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

SHENANDOAH VALLEY
Virginia moved 200 inmates into the Augusta Correctional Center due to cuts to the Virginia Department of Corrections, which included the closing of the Cold Springs Work Center in Greenville. The Craigsville prison, already dealing with a staff shortage, averaged 1,114 inmates in September before the transfer of prisoners. In October, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced $20.3 million in cuts from the state’s corrections budget. The Powhatan Main Correctional Center and White Post Diversion Center also closed. McAuliffe also delayed the opening of the Culpeper Center for Women and will abolish 10 positions as part of a department reorganization. (News Leader)

Waynesboro-based Lumos Networks Corp. — a provider of data, voice and IP-based telecommunication services — plans to expand its fiber network in the Richmond and Norfolk areas. The $40 million expansion would add about 665 total route miles of fiber. Planning and construction is expected to begin soon and will continue for 12-18 months. In connection with the expansion, the company said it had signed a contract with a major telecommunications carrier to provide high-speed services for at least the next 12 years. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Canada-based Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods will invest $1.8 million to establish its first Virginia operation in Warren County, creating 25 jobs. The company imports fruits and vegetables and distributes its frozen food products across the U.S. Nature’s Touch, founded in 2004, has the private-label frozen fruit accounts of all major grocery chains in Canada. The company established its first U.S. operations in Vermont in 2009. The firm is eligible to participate in the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Virginia Military Institute is kicking off the public phase of a $225 million fundraising campaign. The Lexington school said Nov. 12 that $180 million has been raised. The campaign’s title is “An Uncommon Purpose: A Glorious Past, A Brilliant Future: The Campaign for VMI.”  Campaign Chairman Donald M. Wilkinson says that funds raised by the campaign will be directed into five areas: academics, athletics, corps life, unrestricted annual gifts and endowments, and programs that preserve and promote VMI’s legacy.
(The Associated Press)


SOUTHERN VIRGINIA
As of November, Danville’s Bank of America branches became branches of HomeTrust Bank. The North Carolina-based bank purchased the two Danville locations after Bank of America put them up for sale. The Danville locations were bought along with ones in Martinsville, Roanoke and Eden, N.C. The Danville locations are one branch office and one branch ATM. The 16 employees of the branch office will stay on as HomeTrust Bank employees.  (Danville Register & Bee)

South Hill-based B&B Consultants officially cut the ribbon at a new, expanded office in South Boston in November. B&B, which offers a full range of civil engineering, structural engineering, surveying and materials testing services, is now located at 706 Hamilton Blvd. Of the 5,800-square-foot facility, B&B utilizes 3,000-square-feet for office space and the other 1,800-square feet serve as the lab and field crew area. (The Gazette-Virginian)

The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region — which was established in 1996 — now has assets totaling $27.8 million. Eleven new funds have been set up in 2014, ranging from scholarship opportunities to the RiverBank Fund, which was started with a $250,000 donation from Duke Energy. (Danville Register & Bee)

RTI International Metals Inc. in Martinsville is negotiating a repayment with the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission after it failed to meet an employment and capital investment threshold. RTI is set to repay $290,233 to the commission in January “to clear out the shortfall on employment,” said Mark Heath, president and CEO of Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. It also will ask for an extension on meeting a capital investment goal, for which it has met 86.6 percent. (Martinsville Bulletin) 

Yorktowne Cabinetry will pay the City of Danville back $14,425 because it fell short of job creation requirements in its initial performance agreement in 2005 and the amended agreement in 2009. Yorktowne’s original performance agreement called for it to spend $19.2 million in improvements, machinery and equipment, as well as create 431 jobs. Overall the incentive package given to Yorktowne totaled $3.06 million. (Danville Register Bee)


SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
Work has begun on Amtrak passenger service to Roanoke. The first phase of construction has started for the project, which involves the Commonwealth of Virginia, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the city. Roanoke has not had intercity passenger rail service for 34 years. Amtrak service to Roanoke, an extension of Northeast Regional train from Lynchburg, is expected to start in 2017.  From Roanoke, the train will stop in Lynchburg, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and cities as far north as Boston. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Packaging manufacturer Ardagh Group opened a $93.5 million plant in Roanoke County in November that will employ 100 workers. A county official has described the plant as the largest single economic development project in Roanoke County history. The plant, located at 5022 Hollins Road in the former Hanover Direct mail order distribution center, will manufacture light weight metal cans and traditional three-piece food cans. (The Associated Press)

BNC Bancorp, the holding company for Bank of North Carolina, and Valley Financial Corp., the holding company for Valley Bank, entered into a definitive agreement where BNC will acquire all of the common stock of Valley in a stock transaction valued at approximately $101.3 million. Valley, headquartered in Roanoke, operates nine branches in Roanoke and Salem.  The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015 and is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and other closing conditions. (News release)

Michigan-based Guardian Industries announced an almost $1.6 million expansion that will add 30 jobs in Galax. The company is expanding its Consolidated Glass & Mirror facility.  The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $125,000 in funds for the project. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program also will provide Guardian Industries with funding and services for its employee training activities. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

United Airlines trimmed service from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport to Dulles International Airport. In December, United planned to go to one daily outbound and inbound flight between Roanoke and Dulles. Then in March, the airline plans to resume two daily Roanoke-Dulles flights, said United spokeswoman Mary Clark. The number of daily seats has fallen from 111 in October to 87 in November. (The Roanoke Times)

Volvo’s New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin is now completely powered by methane gas, making it carbon neutral, the company announced in December. The gas that produces the plant’s electricity comes from 13 landfills in the region. The fossil fuels previously used to generate the NRV plant’s electricity in 2013 produced 40,408 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to a company news release. Volvo’s electricity provider now uses landfill gas to produce power for the plant that otherwise would have required fossil fuels to produce. (The Roanoke Times)

The former Virginia Intermont College campus in Bristol is for sale, along with its smaller associated properties. The 20-acre complex is listed at $15 million, said Mary Johnson, founder of Land Partners, a Bristol-based commercial real estate company. There are also several perimeter buildings and lots that could be sold off separately for less, she added. The 130-year-old liberal arts college ceased operations in May after years of financial and accreditation struggles. (Bristol Herald Courier) 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Tysons Corner-based Cvent Inc., an event management software company, has acquired Decision Street, an Atlanta-based hotel sales-intelligence software company. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Cvent said the acquisition boosts its effort to help hoteliers better manage group business opportunities. The company said Decision Street’s technology will give hoteliers valuable data analytics, allowing hotel sales teams to focus on the group-booking leads based on inventory, demand, and profitability.  (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Arlington-based Graham Holdings Co. plans to spin off its Cable ONE Inc. subsidiary as an independent, publicly traded company. Cable ONE is a Phoenix-based cable-service provider serving 730,000 small-city subscribers in 19 Midwestern, Western and Southern states. It offers cable television, Internet and home phone services. Founded in 1986, Cable ONE is now the 10th largest cable company in the U.S. Graham Holdings intends to complete the deal in 2015.The transaction will be structured as a tax-free, spin-off of Cable ONE to Graham Holdings stockholders.  (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Reston-based NII Holdings Inc. and 12 of its subsidiaries have reached an agreement with major stakeholders on terms on a Chapter 11 reorganization plan. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. “After months of hard work, we are pleased to announce an agreement on the key terms of a reorganization plan that provides a path for the company to emerge from bankruptcy in a healthy financial position to effectively compete in the wireless marketplace,” Steve Shindler, NII Holdings’ chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This deal is an important step in the process and allows us to move forward and present our reorganization plan to the court for its approval.” (VirginiaBusiness.com)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a developer’s application to open a Tesla dealership in Tysons Corner in November, giving the luxury electric car marker the final major approval required to open its first sales outlet in the state. Tesla has long shown cars to customers at a showroom in the Tysons Corner Center mall, but it took a special agreement with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and a zoning change for the company to be able to actually sell cars. The deal with the DMV requires Tesla to open by March of next year. (The Washington Post)

Two Virginia banks are among the nation’s 20 fastest growing by assets since the middle of 2009, according to an analysis by SNL. Reston-based WashingtonFirst Bank grew by 326.26 percent, to $1.39 billion, through two deals, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-assisted acquisition of Millennium Bank in the first quarter 2014. It added $637 million in assets. Richmond-based Xenith Bankshares, which has a Tysons office, grew assets by 413.38 percent, to $883 million. (Washington Business Journal)

Massachusetts-based Raytheon purchased Blackbird Technologies, a cybersecurity contractor that works with the Defense Department, Special Operations Command and other government clients, for $420 million. Herndon-based Blackbird will become part of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) division. The company will keep its office and leadership team as a wholly owned-subsidiary of Raytheon, a spokesman said. Blackbird has more than 570 employees nationwide. (The Washington Post)

Panda Power Funds, a Dallas-based private-equity firm, said in November it would begin construction of the 101-acre Panda Stonewall facility immediately with the help of Siemens and local construction giant Bechtel. The Loudoun County plant will be powered by natural gas and has the potential to supply energy to nearly 800,000 homes, the companies said. The plant is slated to open four miles southeast of Leesburg in the spring of 2017 and generate 778 megawatts of energy. (The Washington Post)

Tech Mahindra Ltd. plans to acquire McLean-based Lightbridge Communications Corp. for $240 million. The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of Tech Mahindra’s 2015 fiscal year. India-based Tech Mahindra specializes in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering. Lightbridge is one-of-the world’s largest independent providers of network engineering services to the telecommunications industry. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

CENTRAL VIRGINIA
Allegiant Air, an ultralow-cost, pay-for-extras airline, will begin seasonal jet service between Richmond and Florida’s Tampa-St. Petersburg area in February. Allegiant will start its twice-weekly, nonstop service to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on Feb. 13. Though ticket prices will vary with demand, Allegiant said its average, one-way fare is about $90. Allegiant will fly its round trips between Richmond and St. Petersburg on Fridays and Mondays. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W) will spin off some segments into an independent company by the middle of 2015, effectively splitting its workforce into two parts and beginning a shift of all Lynchburg B&W employees to a separate corporate label. Company officials said no significant changes will occur, and the number of employees should remain about the same. Lynchburg-based BWX Technologies, the new company, will have about 4,500 workers formerly employed at B&W. BWXT will focus solely on the nuclear industry, while the company’s steam-generating-equipment business will stay with B&W. (The News & Advance)

Henrico County-based Baby Jogger Inc. is being bought by the owner of Graco strollers. Newell Rubbermaid Inc. announced plans to buy Baby Jogger for $210 million. The deal should close by the end of the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. Baby Jogger, the designer and manufacturer of high-performance strollers, is owned by private-equity firm The Riverside Co., which took a majority stake in a 2012 transaction. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Live Well Financial Inc. announced in November that it will hire 120 people to work at its corporate headquarters in the Boulders office park in north Chesterfield County. The announcement came nearly four months after Live Well said it was hiring 100 people to staff a call center that it was opening Oct. 1 in the Arboretum office complex. At the same time, the company added 200 jobs for a call center in San Diego. The company is a lender for conventional mortgage loans, mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration and reverse mortgages. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia Commonwealth University joined the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) as its fifth academic member. CCAM, based in Prince George County, is a collaborative research organization involving public universities and industry representatives. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Lindenburg Industry LLC will invest $113 million to set up its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Appomattox. The company, a subsidiary of a Chinese firm, said the project would create 349 new jobs in the area. Lindenburg will establish an industrial honeycomb manufacturing operation where it will make industrial environmental control components used in clean air emissions. Incentives included a $1.4 million Governor’s Opportunity Fund grant and $1.17 million Tobacco Commission grant. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

Don Blankenship, the retired chairman and CEO of the former Richmond-based Massey Energy Co., was indicted on federal charges related to a safety investigation that followed the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years. Blankenship oversaw the West Virginia mine that exploded in 2010, killing 29 people. Blankenship is accused of conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine and became the highest-ranking executive to face charges in the 2010 blast. If convicted, he could face up to 31 years in prison. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Dominion acquired Pavant Solar, a 50-megawatt solar energy project in Utah. It bought the project from juwi solar (JSI), a global renewable energy provider with U.S. operations based in Boulder, Colo. Pavant Solar is Dominion’s first solar development in Utah and is expected to enter service in the second half of 2015. With the addition of Pavant Solar, Dominion said it has 324 megawatts of solar generating capacity in development, under construction or in operation in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Utah. (VirginiaBusiness.com)




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