How top private companies are growing

Business North Carolina examines the Grant Thornton 100 to see what it takes for closely held companies to expand.
By Erin Dunn

Peak 10 Inc. This Charlotte company has kept adding data centers, which it operates for small- and medium-size companies in midmarket cities. Peak will soon open its 24th and is in talks to build a 25th at an undisclosed location, CEO Dave Jones says. Companies outsourcing information technology have fueled its double-digit annual growth in revenue and net income.
VPS Convenience Store Group LLC In January, the Wilmington-based owner of the Scotchman and Village Pantry chains bought seven convenience stores in central Illinois, its third acquisition in about a year, which helped it move from sixth to fourth in the ranking. It now operates more than 420 stores in the South, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Belk Inc. The Charlotte-based retailer and largest company on the list, with revenue of $3.7 billion its last fiscal year, is in the midst of a $600 million effort to rebrand and remodel its department stores.
Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co. The Raleigh-based operator of more than 80 hotels invested $18.5 million renovating more than a quarter of them last year and more than $6 million converting a 32,000-square-foot building into its new headquarters. Concord, which made its debut on the list this year at No. 19, spent $7 million in the first quarter of 2012 on renovations.

New products Inc. The fast-growing Cary communications-technology company is moving this fall to N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus to take over Raleigh-based software maker Red Hat Inc.’s former headquarters. One of its most-anticipated products is a phone that lets users make calls over a Wi-Fi network. It’s in the testing phase.
S&D Coffee Inc. The Concord coffee roaster and distributor is adding more lines of tea to its product mix and is searching for a site for a new production and distribution operation.

New partners
AmWINS Group Inc. The Charlotte-based wholesale insurance distributor teamed up this year with New York-based private-equity group New Mountain Capital for a $1.3 billion recapitalization so AmWINS can grow organically and through acquisitions. In September, the company announced it would purchase Stevens Point, Wis.-based Special Markets Insurance Consultants Inc., which underwrites insurance for schools, youth groups and sports associations.



Download a full ranking of North Carolina's top 100 private companies here.

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