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A few months ago, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford told Business North Carolina, “The reality is I consider this league totally stable” (cover story, September 2012). He has since announced that University of Notre Dame will join the conference in every sport except football, that founding member University of Maryland is leaving for the Big Ten Conference and that the University of Louisville is exiting the Big East Conference to take the Terrapins’ spot. These moves come on the heels of the ACC agreeing to add Syracuse University and University of Pittsburgh, which will join later this year. Though Louisville is better than Maryland in terms of revenue and athletic performance, the Terps take with them the valuable Baltimore-Washington, D.C., market and its 3.5 million TV homes — compared with Louisville and Lexington, Ky.’s combined 1.2 million. Though the league got a revised TV deal with ESPN last May, the loss of so many viewers could hurt when it comes time to renegotiate. Notre Dame football, for the time being, is not a part of any TV deal. Its program has its own contract with NBC. If the ACC doesn’t find more money, it could lose teams to leagues such as the Big Ten, which will reportedly pay the Terps $43 million in 2017, $19 million more than the ACC.
No-go on redo
— Quaintance-Weaver Hotels LLC announced in December it will not turn the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem into a hotel. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., its owner, had given the Greensboro company most of last year to examine the feasibility of the renovation, but demand and rates would not be high enough to sustain a luxury hotel. The 22-story art deco building was completed in 1929 and designed by the firm that would go on to design the 102-story Empire State Building in New York City.
GREENSBORO — Tencarva Machinery, a distributor of pumps, pumping systems and fluid-handling systems, acquired Nashville, Tenn.-based Southern Sales Co., which sells products and provides services to municipal water and wastewater clients. Terms were not disclosed.
WINSTON- SALEM — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco will pay Glen Allen, Va.-based Star Scientific $5 million to settle a patent dispute. Star contends that the cigarette-maker infringed on its technology that reduces carcinogens in cigarettes. They had been locked in a legal battle for more than 10 years.
WINSTON-SALEM — Primo Water named Matt Sheehan chief operating officer, a new position at the company, which distributes bottles of purified water. While working for Bellevue, Wash.-based Coinstar’s Redbox division, he helped the movie-rental retailer grow from 100 kiosks to more than 20,000 across the nation.
WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will eliminate 950 positions by June 30 as a cost-cutting measure. About half of the jobs were filled at the time of the announcement in November.
GREENSBORO — Bell Partners sold its last two senior-living communities — one in Raleigh and another in Durham — for an undisclosed amount to Washington, D.C.-based Capital Senior Housing. It’s part of the investment and management company’s strategy to focus on apartments.
WINSTON-SALEM — To cut its monthly rent expense 37%, Targacept will move its headquarters from Piedmont Triad Research Park to a smaller office in downtown Winston-Salem. The drug researcher suffered several clinical-trial setbacks last year, and founder Donald deBethizy stepped down as CEO. Stephen Hill, who has 20 years of experience in life sciences and has led two companies, succeeded him Dec. 1.