For the Record – May 2015
Anheuser-Busch donated 65 acres of Civil War battlefield in Williamsburg to the Civil War Trust. Anheuser-Busch, which makes Budweiser and Bud Light, has a brewery in Williamsburg. The Civil War Trust, a nonprofit that preserves battlegrounds in the U.S., hopes the property will anchor a future battlefield park. Meanwhile, the site will be overseen by the Williamsburg Land Conservancy. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Norfolk headquarters of Blackhawk, a provider of tactical military and security gear to the armed forces and law-enforcement agencies, closed in March. The company’s owner, Vista Outdoor Inc., said about a quarter of employees were laid off, and the rest moved or were reassigned to operations in Virginia Beach or Overland Park, Kan. Vista was created earlier this year when Arlington-based Alliant Techsystems Inc. spun off its sporting-group business, which included Blackhawk. ATK’s aerospace and defense groups merged with Orbital Sciences Corp. to form Orbital ATK.
Newport News-based plumbing distributor Ferguson Enterprises acquired all of the assets of Redlon & Johnson Supply, a wholesale distributor specializing in plumbing, heating, cooling, water system, pipe, valves, fittings and industrial products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Daily Press)
Huntington Ingalls Industries leased 515,486 square feet of office and warehouse space in West Park in Hampton. The company, which operates a shipyard in neighboring Newport News, will use this space as a warehouse. High Street Equity of Boston is the property owner. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Attorneys for Chinese manufacturer Taishan Gypsum agreed to pay $2.6 million to seven Hampton Roads homeowners whose homes were wrecked by the company’s toxic drywall. U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon gave Taishan two weeks from the March 17 hearing in New Orleans to pay the amount in full. Fallon ordered a hearing in late April to determine damage amounts for around 4,000 other homeowners across the country. (Daily Press)
The James Charles Winery and Vineyard LLC is gearing up for its debut in the bustling Northern Shenandoah Valley wine industry in August. The winery, which will be located near Winchester, will be the third area operation for Clarke County residents Della and James “Jim” Bogaty, owners and operators of Veramar Vineyard in Berryville and Bogati Bodega and Vineyard in Round Hill. (NVDaily.com)
Route 11 Potato Chips announced plans to expand its potato chip production in Shenandoah County, a $1.2 million investment expected to create 13 jobs over two years. The company, which now has 32 employees, plans to install a second production line in its 25,000-square-foot plant and hire more production staff. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $50,000 incentive grant from Virginia’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the project, which is being matched by Shenandoah County. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Shenandoah Growers Inc., an organic herb nursery, will invest $8.7 million to increase production at its existing facility in Rockingham County and move its headquarters to a new, 78,000-square-foot space in the county. The project is expected to create 15 jobs. Incentives for the project include a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which is being matched by Rockingham County.
Progress is being made in an effort to revamp the Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro. When it opens in early 2016, it will be called the Paul and Virginia Ross Center for the Performing Arts at the Wayne Theatre. It will be named after two donors. “This will really be a generator of not only good feelings about Waynesboro, but it will have an economic impact on the town,” said Clair Myers, who is the executive director of the Wayne Theatre Alliance. (WHSV.com)
The official groundbreaking for the new cancer center at Winchester Medical Center (WMC) is expected to be in early or mid-May. “We’re targeting completion in the third quarter of 2016,” said WMC chief operating officer Skip Philips. The estimated cost of the cancer center is $27 million. The 52,000-square-foot center will adjoin the diagnostic center on the northeast side of the WMC campus in Winchester.
(The Warren Sentinel)
Omaha, Neb.-based BH Media Group added its ninth daily newspaper in Virginia. The company bought the Martinsville Bulletin as well as the thrice-weekly Franklin News-Post from Haskell Newspapers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Martinsville Bulletin is a 12,250-circulation daily newspaper that serves Martinsville, Collinsville and all of Henry County in Southwest Virginia. The Franklin News-Post publishes 5,100 copies three times a week in an area that serves Rocky Mount and greater Franklin County. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Richmond-based Dominion Virginia Power wants to build a 1,600-megawatt, natural gas-fueled power station in Greensville County. The $1 billion project would be a combined-cycle facility, which would create more than 1,000 jobs at the peak of construction and 45 full-time jobs once it becomes operational. Construction would begin in mid-2016, subject to SCC and environmental approvals. The station would be served by a Williams’ Transco natural gas line that is being extended to the site and the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) that, if approved, would cross the station property when built. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy agreed to a $2.5 million civil charge against the power company for a 2014 coal-ash spill in North Carolina that polluted about 80 miles of the Dan River in Virginia. Officials said in April that the charge is one of the largest ever proposed by the agency, in a legal agreement called a consent order. The public can comment on the proposed order through May 20. The order then goes to the State Water Control Board for approval, possibly at its June 25 meeting. (Danville Register & Bee)
Renewable energy company 510nano Inc. will spend $11 million to relocate its headquarters to Greensville County from Washington, D.C., and open a solar panel manufacturing plant. The company will build a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The project will create 113 jobs. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to help Greensville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $635,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Water bottling company Grand Springs, named Business of the Year by the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce. Michael Watson, incoming chairman of the board, recognized the business for, among other things, being a supporter of the chamber and the community by attending chamber functions. The company sells private label bottled water, jugs of water for home office delivery and bulk water. (Danville Register & Bee)
Independence-based McAllister Mills Inc. plans to invest $1 million to expand its textile manufacturing operations in Grayson County. The move will create 16 jobs and retain 43 existing positions. The firm makes heat-resistant textile products, including insulation blankets, fabrics, tapes and ropes. Incentives included a $110,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Blacksburg-based Mindsense planned to release its email app for the Apple Watch. Mindsense, founded by two Virginia Tech graduates, released Mail Pilot 2 earlier this year for iPhone and iPad. It also plans to release a free preview version of a revamped Mail Pilot for Mac computers. Mindsense has also announced a new product it calls Periscope that will complement its flagship email app. (The Roanoke Times)
Digital advertising firm Modea has laid off a “few” employees, marking the second known round of job cuts the company has made in three years. Modea’s co-founders David Catalano and Aaron Herrington confirmed that the job cuts occurred in late March but declined to say anything more on the matter, including the exact number of people let go and which events triggered the move. The firm was founded in 2006 and is located in the Kent Square complex in Blacksburg. (The Roanoke Times)
Simmons Equipment Co., a manufacturer of battery-powered mining equipment, plans to invest $1 million to expand its Tazewell County operation. The project is projected to create more than 30 jobs in the coming years. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved up to $1.14 million in funding for the venture. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Crane manufacturer Tadano Mantis Corp. will spend $2.5 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Richlands, creating 25 jobs. The U.S. headquarters of the Japanese company is based in Franklin, Tenn. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund for the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $140,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Member One Federal Credit Union bought a 3.2 acre site in central Roanoke for $2.5 million. Roanoke-based Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group announced the sale, adding that the property could provide additional space for the growing credit union. The property, located at 401 Williamson Road NE, includes three brick buildings. The credit union’s corporate campus currently includes its headquarters, main retail center, administration building and a real estate center. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance plan to combine into a single organization that will include 19 area hospitals and about 15,000 employees. A final agreement must be approved by state officials in both Tennessee and Virginia. The merger is expected to take the remainder of this year to complete and, until then, the two systems will continue operating independently. They will now begin a due diligence period. Both organizations are based in Tennessee and operate in that state and Southwest Virginia. (Bristol Herald Courier)
Salem-based PCA Healthcare plans to join Carilion Clinic in June. The move will add 17 physicians to Carilion’s staff. PCA operates four clinic locations in Salem, Floyd and Daleville and employs a total of 21 health-care providers. Carilion Clinic is a not-for-profit health-care organization serving nearly 1 million people in Virginia through hospitals, outpatient specialty centers and advanced primary care practices. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Arlington-based Lookingglass has closed a $20 million Series B round led by New York-based Neuberger Berman Private Equity Funds. The funding, one of the biggest of the year for the region, comes on the heels of the company’s acquisition of McLean-based CloudShield, another cybersecurity firm from Leidos Holdings Inc.. The terms of that deal were not disclosed. Lookingglass has between 40 to 50 clients and about 130 employees.
(Washington Business Journal)
Reston-based Maximus acquired Falls Church-based Acentia in a $300 million all-cash deal. Acentia provides technology and management services to federal government civilian and health agencies in the U.S. Maximus operates government health and human-services programs in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia. The deal was finalized April 1.
Vienna-based Navy Federal Credit Union announced a $114.6 million expansion to its headquarters operation in Vienna, which is expected to add 600 jobs. Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union with more than $63 billion in assets. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund for the project. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) completed its acquisition of Springfield Town Center in Springfield in a deal worth $485 million. PREIT bought the recently redeveloped, 1.35 million-square-foot shopping center from Vornado Realty Trust for $340 million in cash and debt repayments and 6.25 million units of the company’s operating partnership, valued on the closing date at $145 million. The shopping center has recently undergone a $250 million renovation. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
California-based Tesla opened its first dealership in Virginia in March in Tysons Corner. To open the dealership, the electric car-manufacturer had to get a special permit from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner since Virginia law says that a car manufacturer cannot have a license for a dealership unless it can prove that no other dealer is available. Tesla, which also has a gallery in Tysons, would like to sell directly to consumers instead of going through a third-party dealership and is working on those efforts across the country. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Harry Martin, the former CEO of Ashburn-based Intelligent Decisions Inc., was sentenced in March to three years probation, four months after pleading guilty to charges he paid a former contracting official for federal contracts. Martin was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and a special assessment of $100, according to a docket update filed by the U.S. District Court in D.C. As of November, Martin was the 20th individual to plead guilty in the investigation, the Justice Department reported at the time. (Washington Business Journal)
Fairfax-based SRA International Inc., an IT solutions and professional services provider, announced plans to acquire part of the government services business of Reston-based Qbase LLC, a privately held software products and services company. The deal will add 230 employees to SRA’s workforce. Completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to occur in April. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich Co., owner of Tysons Corner Center, has rejected a takeover offer from Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., owner of Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, saying the $22 billion deal undervalues the company. Simon said it believed Macerich shareholders would realize more value through a combination than as a standalone company. Macerich says it plans to spend as much as $500 million a year over the next five years on development projects. (Washington Business Journal)
Reston-based Leidos Holdings Inc. penned a deal to sell the Plainfield Renewable Energy plant in Connecticut, which Leidos helped finance, design and construct. The buyer, Greenleaf Power Consolidated LLC, which owns a number of power plants, will pay $30 million in cash at closing and a secured note of about $80 million — where Plainfield will make payments under a credit agreement with Leidos. The deal won’t close until about midyear and is expected to hurt earnings by 10 cents per share in the meantime. (Washington Business Journal)