Business

NC farmers explore stevia production

July 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina farmers have begun experimenting with growing stevia crops, which can be farmed using the same machinery as used for tobacco and peanut production. Stevia produces an all-natural sweetener that is used in products including Coca-Cola's Sprite and PepsiCo's Trop50 orange-juice drink.

Former Lorillard CEO to lead integration of tobacco companies

July 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Former Lorillard CEO Martin Orlowsky was named executive chairman designate of United Kingdom-based Imperial Tobacco, which plans to take over Lorillard's Greensboro manufacturing operations. Orlowsky was CEO of the Greensboro-based tobacco company from 1999 until his retirement in 2010.

Another weak quarter for Triangle venture capital funding

July 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Eight Triangle startups raised $22 million in venture capital in the second quarter, the lowest amount in two years. Raleigh-based Valencell, which makes wearable technology devices to monitor health data, raised the most with $7 million.

Microsoft to lay off 18,000 workers

July 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Microsoft Corp. will cut 18,000 jobs − about 14% of its workforce − worldwide in the largest layoffs in the technology company's history. The Redmond, Wash.-based company employs about 1,200 in North Carolina, most in Charlotte, thought it is unknown if any of those jobs will be affected. 

Salix drug gets FDA approval

July 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug co-developed by Salix Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of swelling of the skin similar to hives. Salix has said annual sales of Ruconest could reach $87 million.

Greensboro developer reveals details of $50 million downtown project

July 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Roy Carroll, founder and CEO of The Carroll Cos., revealed plans Wednesday for a 4-acre, $50 million mixed-use project in downtown Greensboro that will include a 100-room hotel and 300 apartments. 

SXSW director to speak at Wilmington conference

July 18, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Hugh Forrest will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Coastal Connect conference of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in September. Forrest is the director of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, held annually in Austin, Texas.

Charlotte Cafe files for bankruptcy protection

July 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Cafe, a 33-year-old restaurant located in Park Road Shopping Center, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but plans to stay open during the reorganization. Owner Jimmy Roupas blamed increased food costs and debts stemming back to the recession.

Bank of the Carolinas raises $45.8 million

July 17, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Bank of the Carolinas Corp. has raised $45.8 million in private-equity funding through a discounted stock offering of 10 cents a share. The Mocksville-based bank plans to use $34.8 million of the proceeds as a capital infusion for its bank subsidiary. 

Icahn says Levine shouldn't be CEO of Family Dollar

July 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Investor Carl Icahn criticized Family Dollar's management and said Leon Levine should not be CEO of the Matthews-based company. Icahn acquired a 9.4% stake in the discount retailer last month and has been trying to force a sale of the company.