Business

Smithfield ditching Murphy-Brown name

September 1, 2015

(Sampson Independent)

Smithfield Foods Inc., the Chinese-owned pork producer with a long history in North Carolina, is renaming its Murphy-Brown unit Smithfield Hog Production Division. Smithfield is centralizing operations to put its 48,000 employees under the same brand name. Former state Sen. Wendell Murphy sold his Murphy Family Farms Inc. to Smithfield in 2000, then served as a company director for many years. The company was acquired by China-based Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. for $7.1 billion in 2013.

Here's a history of Smithfield Foods:  http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/timeline-history-smithfield-foods

Small towns fear Belk buyout could lead to store closures

August 31, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Residents across North Carolina worry Belk's new owners may eventually decide to shutter stores in smaller towns, where often it's the only full-service department store. Charlotte-based Belk announced last week it is being sold to Sycamore Partners, a New York-based private-equity firm, for $3 billion. Company officials say no major changes are planned.
Related: The Street: Belk buyout is 'a steal' for Sycamore Partners

Group says BofA shareholders should split CEO, chairman roles

August 31, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

CtW Investment Group said Friday that Bank of America shareholders should vote against bylaw changes that allowed CEO Brian Moynihan to become chairman. CtW is an advocate for union-affiliated pension funds. The Charlotte-based bank is holding a special meeting Sept. 22 for shareholders to vote on the issue.

Western NC sees more international tourists

August 31, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville business owners are noticing an uptick in the number of international tourists. About 1.2 million international travelers visited the state in 2013, the latest year statistics are available, but tourism officials expect a significant increase in 2014 and 2015.

AT&T, CenturyLink to expand rural broadband

August 31, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

AT&T and CenturyLink agreed to expand rural Internet access to more than 50,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina using funds provided by the Federal Communications Commission. AT&T will receive $3.5 million annually for three years to expand broadband service; CenturyLink will receive more than $10 million annually.

Novant Health posts increase in excess income

August 31, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Novant Health reported excess income of $125 million for the first half of 2015, a 23% increase compared with the same period a year ago. The Winston-Salem-based health care system employs 25,000 people across four states.

'A Chef's Life' begins new season on PBS

August 31, 2015

(Kinston Free Press)

"A Chef's Life," the award-winning PBS series featuring Kinston chef Vivian Howard ("Recipe for recovery," October 2014), begins airing its third season on Thursday. Filming for season four is underway, though Howard, who runs two restaurants with husband Ben Knight, says it will likely be the last for the popular documentary.

Henderson County businesses concerned over power lines

August 31, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Summer camps and apple orchards are among Henderson County businesses concerned over the impact of transmission lines Duke Energy plans to install to connect a new Asheville power plant to a substation in South Carolina.

Mayne Pharma plans $65M expansion, 110 jobs in Greenville

August 28, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Mayne Pharma plans to invest $65 million in a manufacturing plant and add 110 jobs to its existing 350 in Greenville. Average annual salary will be $60,000. The Australian drugmaker acquired Greenville-based Metrics in 2012. Mayne's products include treatments for acne, fungal infections and bacterial infections. The new plant will also provide contract-manufacturing services.

Bissell plans 10-story spec building in Charlotte's Ballantyne

August 28, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Bissell Corporation plans to build a 10-story, 287,500-square-foot office building in Charlotte's Ballantyne area, which is almost 95% occupied. Construction could start as early as next week and should be complete by November 2016. A 150-room hotel is also planned.