Drug companies announce trio of deals; GSK to swap businesses with Novartis

April 22, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Novartis will sell its vaccines business, which includes its Holly Springs plant, to GlaxoSmithKline for $7.1 billion and its animal health division to Eli Lilly for $5.4 billion. The Geneva-based pharmaceutical will buy GSK's cancer-drug business for $14.5 billion. Novartis CEO Joseph Jiminez said none of the 15,000 employees affected by the transactions will lose their jobs.

AT&T adds Charlotte, Greensboro to list of candidates for faster Internet service

April 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

AT&T has added Greensboro, Charlotte, Gastonia and Huntersville to the growing list of metropolitan areas where it hopes to bring Internet service that is up to 100 times faster than standard service. The company announced earlier this month plans to bring its new fiber network to the Triangle and Winston-Salem areas.

US economy gaining momentum as temperatures rise

April 22, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

New reports show improving weather conditions are accelerating growth in the U.S. economy after an unusually cold winter. Banks are making more loans, retail sales are up and factory production is increasing across the nation. 

Wilmington's PPD names De Silva senior vice president

April 22, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington-based pharmaceutical company PPD named Bhooshi De Silva senior vice president of corporate development and strategy. De Silva, a former VP of business development at New York-based Pfizer, will focus on mergers and acquisitions.

Raleigh hotel management company sells 13 hotels for $240 million

April 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Concord Hospitality Enterprises sold 11 Marriott and two Hilton Hotels to an undisclosed buyer for $240 million. The Raleigh-based company, which owns or manages 90 hotels in 21 states plus Canada, will continue to manage the properties.

USDA creates new program to help rural businesses grow

April 22, 2014


The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $150 million program to help agriculture-related businesses expand. The program will establish a fund with money received from Farm Credit banks that will be managed by New Orleans-based Advantage Capital Partners.

NC added nearly 20,000 jobs in March

April 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina added 19,400 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, compared with 8.5% in March 2013. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, N.C. was second only to Florida in employment growth. 

New food plant to open in Nash County, create 64 jobs

April 21, 2014

(Rocky Mount Telegram)

Richmond, Va.-based Universal Corp. will invest $20 million and hire 64 people at a Nash County plant where it will produce dehydrated and juiced vegetable and fruit products. 

Recent college grads bolster Charlotte apartment construction

April 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer) ranked Charlotte the No. 2 city for recent college graduates, behind Denver, Colo. The list was based on factors including affordability, median income and unemployment rates. Developers say millenials who aren't ready to buy houses are flocking to the city, fueling the surge in apartment construction.

Food Safety Act may alter symbiotic relationship between brewers, farmers

April 21, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

The FDA has proposed tougher standards for breweries regarding how they handle spent grain, which could lead to higher costs for brewers and local farmers. Currently, farmers use the grain as an affordable feed source for livestock, but The Food Safety Modernization Act may force breweries to instead haul the grain to landfills.