Triangle

LabCorp announces $6 billion acquisition of New Jersey-based CRO

November 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Burlington-based LabCorp will acquire New Jersey-based drug diagnostics firm Covance in a $6 billion cash and stock deal. The deal will allow LabCorp to compete with other drug-testing companies based in the state, including Durham-based Quintiles and Wilmington-based PPD. LabCorp will add 12,500 employees to its existing 34,000 worldwide through the acquisition.

Duke Energy, Red Hat and Piedmont lead initial contributions to EDPNC

November 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Charlotte-based Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas and Raleigh-based Red Hat were the top initial donors to the state's new public-private economic-development partnership. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina said five companies contributed a combined $440,000 to help the agency get off the ground. Other contributors were Beijing-based Lenovo Group and Charlotte Pipe and Foundry.
Related: Duke Energy donation gives questionable boost to NC economic partnership

Kane Realty pushes for 40-story skyscrapers in Raleigh's Midtown

November 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Kane Realty wants Raleigh to allow buildings up to 40 stories high in its Midtown district. The area includes North Hills, the north Raleigh district the local real-estate developer has transformed from a two-story shopping mall into a mixed-use development that includes retail, residential and office space with urban-like density. 
Read more about John Kane, Developer of the Year in Business North Carolina's 2014 Building NC Awards

Blue Cross Blue Shield sends 42,000 incorrect renewal notices

October 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state's largest health insurer mailed out about 42,000 policy renewal letters with incorrect rates. Some Blue Cross Blue Shield customers received notices showing cost increases of more than 100%. A company spokeswoman said the mistake was due to "good old classic human error."

Lenovo completes acquisition of Motorola smartphone business

October 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Lenovo is now the world's No. 3 smartphone company after completing its $2.91 billion acquistion of Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Chicago-based Motorola will operate as a subsidiary of Beijing-based Lenovo, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville.

Gil stepping down as dean at UNC Chapel Hill

November 21, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Karen Gil will step down as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. She will return to teaching in the department of psychology. Gil, who became dean in 2009, was mentioned in the recent Wainstein report on academic fraud at the university but was not implicated in the scandal.

Chimerix plans secondary stock offering

October 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Chimerix looks to raise $105 million in a public stock offering. The Durham-based drug developer raised $118 in its initial public offering in April 2013. The company plans to use about $52 million of the proceeds to finance clinical trials for brincidofovir, an antiviral drug being tested as a treatment for viruses including Ebola and small pox.

Judges sentences Triangle brokers, developers in $44M fraud scheme

October 30, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A federal judge sentenced seven Triangle real-estate professionals and one from New Jersey for their involvement in a $44 million mortgage fraud scheme that ran from 2003 to 2009. The group, which includes developers, brokers and a lawyer, purchased and developed properties for quick resale and recruited "straw buyers" to obtain mortgage loans they could not afford to repay.

Raleigh's INC Research looks to raise $135M in public offering

October 29, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based INC Research is looking to raise $135 million in an initial public offering, according to a securities filing. The contract-research organization plans to sell 8.1 million shares at $17 to $20 a per share and will use the proceeds to pay down some of its $588 million in debt. INC employs about 5,500 people worldwide, including more than 850 in Raleigh.

PR expenses exceed $2M for UNC Chapel Hill

November 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC Chapel Hill will pay public-relations firm Edelman more than $1.65 million for its services following the academic and athletic fraud scandal that involved at least 3,100 students. The university had previously spent about $500,000 on public-relations services related to the scandal. UNC officials say state money and tuition dollars will not be used to pay for the PR expenses.

Syngenta faces lawsuits over exporting modified corn

October 28, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Food exporters who claim to have lost millions because they aren't allowed to ship Syngenta's genetically modified, insect-resistant corn to China have filed lawsuits against the agribusiness, which has its global headquarters for biotech research in Research Triangle Park. 

Novartis sells Holly Springs vaccine plant

October 27, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Novartis will sell its vaccines business, including its production plant in Holly Springs, to Australia-based CSL in a deal valued at $275 million. Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis received more than $40 million in state and local incentives to build the plant, which opened five years ago and employs 550 people.

Heavner's University Directories files for bankruptcy

October 27, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Chapel Hill-based publisher University Directories has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Owner James Heavner says his company is trying to avoid a hostile takeover by Greg Lindberg, president of Durham-based Eli Global. Meanwhile, another of Lindberg's companies has filed a lawsuit against University Directories and Heavner's other businesses over financial mismanagement.

SAS ranks No. 2 on global list of best places to work

October 24, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Cary-based SAS Institute was ranked No. 2 on the Great Place to Work Institute's list of best global workplaces, behind Mountain View, Calif.-based Google for the second year in a row.

Frontier bringing gigabit Internet to some Triangle locations

October 24, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Frontier Communications will offer the first gigabit Internet service that is up to 100 times faster than cable at some locations in Durham and Research Triangle Park, but prices are not cheap. Residents will pay $219 a month for one-gigabit service but there's no installation fee or contract required.

Biotech center issues almost $900,000 in loans, grants

October 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center issued $885,586 in grants and loans in the first quarter. Chapel Hill-based Novocor Medical Systems and KinoDyn each received $250,000 loans, as did Winston-Salem-based KeraNetics. The state restored $1 million in funding to the nonprofit center for the 2014-15 fiscal year 

Report reveals 18 years of academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An investigation into academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill revealed an 18-year scheme based on a system of no-show classes for student athletes. Following the report's release, Chancellor Carol Folt said four university employees will be terminated and another five will face disciplinary action.

Blue Cross says ACA rates to rise by 13%

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said health insurance rates for plans under the Affordable Care Act will increase by an average of 13.5% next year. The state's largest health insurer covers 258,000 people under the federal health-care law.

Raleigh's TrustAtlantic Bank to be acquired for $80 million

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

First Tennessee Bank will acquire Raleigh-based TrustAtlantic Bank for $80 million. Memphis-based First Tennessee has more than 180 branches, most in Tennessee, and opened its first Raleigh branch last year. TrustAtlantic has five branches in the Triangle and Greenville and had assets of $453 million as of Sept. 30.

SAS's Goodnight foresees continued growth in Cary

October 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight says he expects the company to add about 600 workers at its Triangle headquarters over the next three years. The business-analytics software company has added nearly 200 workers a year for the past five years. SAS unveiled a new 220,000-square-foot building on its Cary campus Tuesday morning.