For the Record – February 2016
BAE Systems has notified about 530 employees at its Norfolk shipyard that they could be laid off in March. This workforce reduction, scheduled to take place around March 18, follows 400 layoffs at the shipyard late last year. The Norfolk shipyard employs about 1,075 workers. “These further reductions are necessary to align the Norfolk shipyard with lower demand for its services,” the company said in a news release. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Cincinnati-based retailer Macy’s Inc. has announced the closing of six Virginia stores. Three are in the Richmond area and another three are in Hampton Roads. The stores are among 40 stores that the company is closing nationwide as it tries to reduce expenses by $500 million. The stores in Virginia that are scheduled to close employ nearly 500 workers. They are in Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk and Henrico County. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Mitsubishi Kagaku Imaging Corp. planned to lay off 83 people in Chesapeake, starting in January. In a news release, the California-based company, also known as Future Graphics, said it will close its monochrome toner plant on Volvo Parkway in Chesapeake in March. (The Virginian-Pilot)
The Virginia Beach firm Poole Mahoney PC spun off its family-law practice and changed its name to Poole Brooke Plumlee PC on Jan 1. The new family law firm is Mahoney Nashatka Richmond PLLC. It has five lawyers and is located next to Poole Brooke Plumlee. Among those joining Mahoney in the new firm are partners Shantell Nashatka and Andrew Richmond. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Hampton Roads’ first meadery, Silver Hand Meadery, opened its doors in Williamsburg on Nov. 21. It produces a honey-based alcoholic drink, which was popular in the Middle Ages. (Daily Press)
Portsmouth-based TowneBank plans to acquire Chesapeake-based Monarch Financial Holdings Inc., the parent company of Monarch Bank, in a deal worth $220.6 million. The acquisition would create a $7.3 billion bank with 20.6 percent of bank deposits in the Hampton Roads market. The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
With a long history in producing pork, hog farmer and Shenandoah County Supervisor Steve Baker recently added a processing facility at Baker Farms in Mount Jackson. In the past, Baker had coordinated with a processor a few miles away to prepare his products for distribution. Baker Farms ships out a variety of pork products that are now butchered, smoked and packaged on site. (The Northern Virginia Daily)
Kingspan Insulation LLC is planning a $25 million upgrade to its Frederick County facility. The enhancements are expected to create 15 new jobs. Kingspan makes insulation products and systems for building fabric and building services applications. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Obenshain Law Group, based in Harrisonburg, has expanded its trial practice with the opening of a Richmond office and the addition of Lawrence L. “Chip” Muir Jr. Muir will focus on commercial, intellectual property and cybersecurity litigation in addition to white-collar criminal cases. (The Northern Virginia Daily)
Edinburg-based Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (Shentel) plans to buy Colane Cable TV in West Virginia for $2.4 million. Founded in 1955 in Omar, W.Va., Colane is a video, Internet and home-phone provider serving the southwestern part of the Mountain State. Shentel’s services include wireless voice and data; cable video, Internet and voice; fiber network and services; and local and long distance telephone. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Funding has been approved by the Waynesboro City Council for a local branch of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. The council voted unanimously to provide an economic incentive of $1 million for the $7.5 million satellite campus. The money is contingent on state and private funding and requires approval from future councils. The Virginia Museum of Natural History’s main site is in Martinsville. (News Leader)
As grading approaches completion, Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre (CCBC) in Henry County already is drawing significant interest from industries, according to Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development President/CEO Mark Heath. Henry County Deputy Administrator Dale Wagoner says the grading project is scheduled to be completed in the spring. (Martinsville Bulletin)
Hardide Coatings has opened a production facility in Henry County — the only one that it currently operates in the United States. Just two people worked there in early January, but the company aims to create up to 29 jobs at the plant in the Bowles Industrial Park during the next three years. Based in England, Hardide makes patented hard-wearing tungsten carbide coatings for customers in the oil and gas and flow control markets. (Martinsville Bulletin)
Martinsville-based Hooker Furniture Corp. plans to acquire the business of North Carolina-based Home Meridian International (HMI) for $100 million. The deal, the largest in Hooker’s 91-year history, is expected to more than double the size of the company and make it one of the nation’s top five furniture companies. HMI is the parent company of five business units, including Pulaski Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Hospitality, Prime Resources International and Right 2 Home. HMI is expected to operate as a Hooker division. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Danville Regional Medical Center held a groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 20 for the new Chatham Diagnostic Imaging Center. The imaging center will include digital X-ray, ultrasound and mammography. The facility was also have office space for specialists and LabCare services. The center is expected to begin operating in late summer. (Work It, SoVa)
Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will begin offering a new program this year aimed at training students to become power-line workers. Electric utilities expect many of their current workers to retire in coming years. SVCC’s proposal was one of five successful entries in the first Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions, which was announced last fall. The Power Line Worker Training Program will receive a $200,000 matching incentive grant from the commonwealth. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Daly Seven of Danville was honored with the Marriott Horizon Award. The award “recognizes the best of the best in hotel management companies that partner with Marriott,” according to a news release. Bob Daly, Shelayne Sutton, Charisse Kleinman and Niles Daly of Daly Seven accepted the award Dec. 10 at a Marriott Conference. Daly Seven is a family-owned hotel development and management company headquartered in Danville. (Work It, SoVa)
Alpha Natural Resources in January announced plans to sell 23 mines in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois. Alpha filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy in August amid economic pressures spurred by sharp declines in the sale of both metallurgical and steam coal and stringent government regulations. (Bristol Herald Courier)
Chemical distributor Chemsolv Inc. agreed to pay $1.5 million in penalties for two episodes of criminal misconduct at its southeast Roanoke facility. Jamison Austin, vice president and general manager, pleaded guilty on the company’s behalf in December to one count each of unlawful transportation of hazardous waste and unlawful storage of hazardous waste. (The Roanoke Times)
The Virginia Community College System plans to use a nearly $2 million federal grant to retrain approximately 210 workers affected by Alpha Natural Resources layoffs. The U.S. Department of Labor grant will provide re-employment services to former coal industry workers wanting access to jobs in emerging and growing fields. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Starting this fall, select students can earn their medical degree and MBA at the same time through a program developed by Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. Program administrators expect to enroll students in the fall. They will take core MBA courses plus electives in information technology. (The Roanoke Times)
The VT KnowledgeWorks Innovation Challenge is accepting applications through Feb. 19. The annual Innovation Challenge prize provides $100,000 worth of mentorship and business support services to a winning team of Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students and/or alumni proposing to establish a new venture in Blacksburg, based on Virginia Tech-owned technology. (The Roanoke Times)
According to county officials, 2015 was a good year in Sullivan County, Tenn., and in Washington County, Va., including Abingdon. Economic development leaders in all three localities said 2015 was highlighted by new industries and job creation. In Washington County, 500 new jobs will be created as a result of new developments announced in 2015, with $36 million worth of investment. (Bristol Herald Courier)
Omaha, Neb.-based BH Media Group acquired The Free Lance–Star , its website and print operatio n from Sandton Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. The Free Lance-Star and its predecessors have served the Fredericksburg area since 1885. BH Media Group now owns 32 daily newspapers as well as related weekly newspapers in the U.S. (The Free Lance-Star)
Arlington-based defense contractor CACI International Inc. plans to acquire Reston-based L-3 National Security Solutions Inc. (L-3 NSS) for $550 million. L-3 NSS is the government services division of L-3 Communications. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Cvent Inc. has sold its consumer-ticketing business, acquired three years ago for more than $5.9 million, to San Francisco-based Vendini Inc. for $3 million. Tysons-based Cvent, an event management software provider, said that selling off that part of its business — at a loss — would enable it to focus its resources on its corporate event management solutions and group business platform for the hospitality industry. (Washington Business Journal)
General Dynamics Corp. plans to move its corporate headquarters from Falls Church to Reston. The defense contractor will relocate to a planned 190,000-square-foot building at 11011 Sunset Hills Road. The site is owned by an affiliate of Boston Properties Inc., according to land records. (Washington Business Journal)
Arlington-based Graham Holdings Co. has launched CyberVista, which strives to help corporate board members and executives understand cyber issues that affect their organizations and provide the tools to oversee and manage those cyber risks. CyberVista also plans to introduce a cybersecurity certification preparation program for practitioners and IT professionals, as well as a continuing education program for practitioners already in the field or looking to get into it. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
HITT Contracting Inc. has acquired Trademark Construction, a 55-employee general contractor based in Houston. HITT, a Falls Church-based general contractor, said the acquisition will strengthen its presence in Texas and expand the firm’s ability to serve clients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Two major players in Northern Virginia announced a collaboration that aims to advance personalized medicine. Inova , the largest health system in the region, and George Mason University say they will work together to conduct translational research and share resources. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Nexstar to acquire Media General
Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. plans to acquire Richmond-based television station owner Media General Inc. in a $4.7 billion deal.
The deal, announced Jan. 27, follows the termination of a previous agreement between Media General and Iowa-based Meredith Corp.
Meredith will receive the $60 million termination fee and will have an opportunity to negotiate for the purchase of certain broadcast and digital assets now owned by Media General.
The combined Nexstar-Media General company will be based in Irving, Texas, and called Nexstar Media Group Inc.
Nexstar Media will have annual revenue of more than $2.3 billion. It will have 171 television stations in 100 markets reaching about 39 percent of U.S. television households.
Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Media General for $10.55 per share in cash and 0.1249 of a share of Nexstar Class A common stock for each Media General share.
The deal also includes potential additional consideration in the form of a contingent value right. It would entitle Media General shareholders to net cash proceeds from the sale of company’s spectrum in an upcoming Federal Communication Commission auction.
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, values Media General at $17.14 per share
The deal is subject to a vote by stockholders of Media General and Nexstar, FCC approval and other regulatory approvals.
Nexstar plans to divest some television stations to obtain FCC approval.
The deal is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter this year.(VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Brink’s Co., a major secure transportation and cash management services company based in Richmond, has reached an agreement with New York-based activist investment fund Starboard Value LP under which three new directors have been added to Brink’s board and two current directors have retired. Brink’s also said that Thomas C. Schievelbein, Brink’s chairman, president and CEO, will retire. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Virginia is moving forward with a plan to speed train travel between Washington and Richmond by 2025. The state’s rail agency and the Federal Railroad Administration are exploring the feasibility of higher-speed rail on the stretch connecting the two cities. Cutting down the travel time between the cities from the current 2 hours and 45 minutes to 90 minutes would make train travel more attractive to travelers in the corridor. Ridership between the cities was 186,268 in the past fiscal year, according to Amtrak. (The Washington Post)
The Lynchburg Regional Chamber merged with the Region 2000 Business and Economic Alliance to become the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. Megan Lucas has been named the new organization’s president and CEO. (WDBJ7.com)
Martin’s Food Markets will close three of its 22 Richmond-area stores next summer, affecting more than 350 employees. The grocery chain said it plans to close stores in Richmond, Hanover County and Petersburg. According to the company, the leases for the stores are set to expire “and a business decision was made not to extend the leases for these stores.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)