Unifi CEO and Executive Chairman Kevin Hall resigned effective immediately. Hall was appointed as CEO in May 2017. Albert P. Carey, a non-executive chairman and CEO of PepsiCo North America, was appointed executive chairman and Thomas H. Caudle Jr., president and chief operating officer, will serve as principal executive officer of the Greensboro-based manufacturer. Head of Human Resources and Executive Vice President John D. Vegas announced he would leave the company March 1 last month. Executive Vice President and CFO Jeffrey C. Ackerman resigned in December.
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Atlantic Veneer Co., part of Möhring Group, is shifting 35 jobs to sister facility Veneer Technologies in Newport from Beaufort and displacing 57 positions. About 50 sales and distribution workers will remain at Atlantic Veneer’s Beaufort facility. The hardwood products manufacturer is one of Carteret County’s largest employers.
Lord Corp. is working with an adviser on exploring a potential sale valued at as much as $3 billion, according to a Bloomberg report. Company officials have not commented. The Cary-based adhesive and industrial firm had $1 billion in sales in 2018.
German renewable energy manufacturer BayWa r.e. Construction sold two solar energy farms in Warren and Halifax counties to PSEG Solar Source for $65 million. Both farms have a 10-year power purchase agreement with Virginia Electric Power Co. PSEG Solar Source, owned by Newark, N.J.-based electric utility Public Service Enterprise Group, has 25 solar plants, including eight in North Carolina.
A judge temporarily restricted Wake Stone Corp. to exploratory drilling on the 105-acre tract of land the company is leasing from the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. The authority approved a 25-year lease with Wake Stone earlier this month to use the land as a quarry. The Umstead Coalition, which advocates for the nearby state park, sued the airport, arguing the lease is invalid and the governments that appoint members to the authority should have final approval on the lease.
Windjam Properties is planning to build 250 single-family homes and townhomes at the 1158 Place development in Wilson near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and Raleigh Road Parkway. The project was approved earlier this month by Wilson’s planning board and still needs approval from City Council. It will be Wilson’s largest housing development since the Great Recession. The new homes will be priced for as much as $300,000.
California-based produce giant Dole Food Company is moving a few top executives to Charlotte. The California-based produce giant hasn’t made the Queen City its corporate headquarters, but a construction permit for a project dubbed “Dole Headquarters” was recently filed for downtown Charlotte. The company opened the Dole Nutrition Institute at the North Carolina Research Campus in neighboring Kannapolis in 2003 and makes salads at a plant in Bessemer City.
Winston-Salem based health-care system Novant Health purchased a $21 million plot of land, where it may build a hospital in south Charlotte’s Ballantyne neighborhood. The proposed 161,000-square-foot Ballantyne Medical Center would include 36 beds, two general operating rooms, an emergency department and a helipad. Novant plans to invest $154 million in the project that, if approved, would open in 2023.
Well-known Goldsboro barbecue restaurant Wilber’s closed due to nonpayment of taxes. The restaurant owes $70,647 in sales and use taxes and an additional $5,663 in property taxes for the 2018 period.The former Hill’s Barbecue was purchased by Wilber Shirley in 1962 and renamed Wilber’s and was popular for its vinegar-based sauce and heaping portions. Shirley plans to reorganize and reopen with reduced hours.
New minor league baseball team Fayetteville Woodpeckers have already sold more than 125,000 tickets prior to its home opener at the new Segra Stadium on April 18. The Houston Astros’ Advanced-A Carolina League team sold out of all the seating in its seating bowl for opening day.
East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton is expected to announce his resignation later today, according to a report from The Reflector. Staton will leave the chancellor’s post on May 3, then stay until June 30 to advise his interim successor and UNC System Interim President Bill Roper, according to a document received by the Carolina Journal website. Staton has served as chancellor since 2016.
Durham-based Cree’s shares increased by more than 7% on Friday after announcing a deal to sell its Lighting Products business group for up to $310 million. Sycamore, Ill.-based Ideal Industries is buying the group from the semiconductor and LED lighting manufacturer. The deal is expected to close later this year.
The city of Greensboro has approved $426,000 in incentives to persuade Centric Brands to potentially create 213 jobs with an average salary of $54,014 in downtown Greensboro by June 30, 2022. The New York-based apparel company must also invest $2 million into a space at Gateway Center to qualify for incentives. Centric is also considering Los Angeles and New York for the project.
Communications and compliance firm Issuer Direct Corp. is moving its headquarters from Morrisville to a 10,000-square foot space at downtown Raleigh’s One Glenwood building. Issuer Direct currently employs 90, but plans to grow to more than 100 by the end of the year. The firm reported revenue of $14.2 million in 2018, a 13% increase from the year before.
Precision BioSciences Inc. raised $39.5 million from 23 investors by selling debt. The Durham-based biotechnology company filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering earlier this month. Precision previously raised $88 million last June and $25.6 million in May 2015.
CSX plans to break ground on an intermodal rail facility across from N.C. Wesleyan College in Edgecombe County. Officials say the project will take about 20 months to complete. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm plans to invest $40 million in the project, and the state Transportation Department will contribute more than $118 million.
A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham and co-sponsored by N.C. Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr pushes to put land off I-85 into a trust for the Catawba Indian Tribe for the construction of a casino in Kings Mountain. The 1.8 million-square-foot project would include a casino and hotel and would employ 5,000, according to Catawba officials. The tribe submitted an application for land trust and casino rights in Sept. 2014 with the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Cherokee tribe, which operates a casino in western North Carolina, opposes the Senate bill.
Innovate Biopharmaceuticals Inc. raised $5.5 million in debt. The Raleigh-based clinical-stage biotechnology company recently named Sandeep Laumas as CEO and will report financial results for the fourth quarter today. The firm focuses on developing medication for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Nuvotronics was acquired by San Diego-based Cubic Corp. in a $64 million cash deal. The Durham-based defense contractor makes radio-frequency devices such as antennas, filters and combiners. No layoffs are expected. The company raised $15 million in 2015, the same year it moved to Durham from Radford, Va.
Connecticut’s Supreme Court has given families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre the green light to sue Madison-based Remington Arms Co. over its marketing of military-style Bushmaster weapons, according to a report from Bloomberg. The court ruled that families could sue for “wrongful” marketing under a state unfair-trade-practice law. Remington emerged from bankruptcy in May after converting more than $775 million in debt into equity.
Greensboro’s VF Corp. named Veronica Wu as the newest member of its board of directors. Wu, who launched Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Hone Capital in 2015, will serve on the finance and nominating and governance committees. The apparel manufacturer plans to move its headquarters to Denver later this summer.
NSI Industries is merging with Newbury Park, Calif.-based electrical supplier Platinum Tools Inc. Financial details were not disclosed. The Huntersville-based electrical-supply manufacturer provides electric tape, cable cutters and emergency exit signs.
Clinipace Inc. raised $4 million from 13 investors, according to a securities filing. The Morrisville-based contract-research organization previously raised $5.7 million in Sept. 2018 and $10 million in Dec. 2017. Clinipace, founded in 2003, provides services in clinical development, regulatory affairs and clinical analysis.
Huber Technology Inc. broke ground on its $11 million headquarters and manufacturing plant in Airlie Business Park near Denver. The wastewater-equipment manager, a subsidiary of Germany-based Huber SE, is relocating its headquarters from Huntersville. Huber plans to build two 75,000-square-foot buildings.
LORD Corp. is investing $15.4 million in an expansion of its operations in Hückelhoven, Germany. The Cary-based diversified technology and manufacturing company currently employs 70 at the facility and will add 20 employees with the expansion. Officials say the expansion will help the company compete in the fast-growing electric vehicle market.
Denmark-based Xellia pharmaceuticals is transferring its U.S. HQ from Raleigh to Buffalo Grove, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Xellia sold its Raleigh manufacturing plant to Illinois-based Sagent Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Tokyo’s generic-medicine manufacturer Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., for $8 million. Sagent will continue to produce some products for Xellia at the site, and Xellia’s 120 workers will be offered jobs with Sagent. Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical had sales of $1.5 billion last fiscal year.
North Carolina craft brewers can double the amount of barrels they can distribute without going through the state’s wholesale distributors, according to an agreement approved by representatives of the two groups. The move follows a two-year battle in which craft brewers argued that their growth was inhibited by state law and the strong political influence of the wholesalers. The new Craft Beer Distribution & Modernization Act creates a new category of “mid-sized independent breweries” and permits as much as 50,000 barrels of self-distribution. N.C. craft brewers have an estimated annual economic impact of $1.2 billion.
Criticality LLC, which manufactures industrial hemp used for cannabidoil hemp oil extraction, opened a new 55,000-square-foot facility in Wilson. The Hobgood-based firm currently employs 18 at the location, but plans to add 70 more over than the five years with an average annual salary of $44,000. The facility will process hemp grown in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Colorado.
Greensboro-based The Carroll Cos., headed by developer Roy Carroll, filed plans with the city of Wilmington for a $200 million, 44-acre project on Military Cutoff Road. The “Carroll at Avenue” project will be anchored by a Westin Hotel, conference center and spa and will include 500 luxury apartments with 200 age-restricted homes, retail and office space.
Greensboro-based R.H. Barringer purchased the R.A. Jeffreys distribution center in Raleigh for $13 million, making it the largest beer and wine wholesaler in the state. R.A. Jeffreys Distributing, based in Goldsboro, sold its other properties to Charlotte’s Adams Beverages of NC and Rocky Mount’s Carolina Eagle Distributing. Jeffrey was the fifth largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products.
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s stock dropped 12% Wednesday after reporting a net loss of $3 million, or 15 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, up from a net loss of $2.3 million, or 15 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Research Triangle Park-based company is focusing on its signature drug Pedmark, which prevents the risk of hearing loss that can result during the treatment of hepatoblastoma.
New York-based financial firm JPMorgan Chase is adding an undisclosed number of bank branches in the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham area as part of a expansion in nine major metropolitan markets. The bank plans to open 90 new branches in new markets national and hire up to 700 by the end of the year. Chase’s first N.C. retail branches will be in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Chase also plans branches in Greenville, S.C., Minneapolis, Nashville, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
Raleigh is rolling out a city-run bikeshare program, Citrix Cycle, downtown and around university campuses starting this weekend. The bikes will be available at docking stations around the city where they must be returned at the end of a ride. Thirteen stations with 100 bikes will be available this weekend for the system’s “soft launch.” A single 45-minute ride will cost $2.
Appalachian Theatre of the High Country in downtown Boone is expected to open by the end of the summer after undergoing nearly two years of renovations. Construction on the theater has already been financed, but officials say startup costs for the first three years will likely add up to $1.2 million. Gov. Roy Cooper has suggested a $1 million grant for the theater to assist with startup costs in his proposed $25.2 billion biennium budget. Appalachian Theatre, which opened in 1938, has been closed since 2007.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is merging with Oregon-based Cambia Health Solutions, combining corporate management, administrative and operational services under the Cambia name. The alliance will cover around six million customers and have a combined revenue of $16 billion. BCBSNC CEO Patrick Conway will become CEO of the new entity. Mark Ganz, the current CEO of Cambia, will become the executive chair of the board of directors, and the headquarters of merged firms will be split between Durham and Portland, Ore.
Novant Health Foundation named former Charlotte Observer publisher Ann Caulkins as its new president and a senior vice president. Caulkins left the Observer last year after nearly 35 years in communications. Winston-Salem-based Novant is Charlotte’s second-largest hospital system behind Atrium Health.
UNC Rex Healthcare will begin construction this week on a $136 million seven-story, 50-bed hospital in Holly Springs. Construction is expected to be completed in 2021 and will include in-patient beds, labor and delivery, operation rooms for surgery and a 24-hour emergency department. The new hospital will create up to 300 jobs including physicians, nurses and mechanical services.
The unemployment rate in North Carolina rose slightly in January to 3.8%, still lower than the national unemployment rate of 4%. The December unemployment rate for the state was 3.7%. The leisure and hospitality industry posted the biggest gains, adding 9,000 jobs in January. Education and health services added 7,200 jobs, and construction added 6,200 jobs.
Winston-Salem developer Eastchester Storage LLC purchased the former Heritage Home Group headquarters in High Point for $4 million. The property was rezoned to accommodate the conversion of the two story, 94,760-square-foot building into a self-storage facility. HHG sold its affiliated businesses last year after filing for bankruptcy protection in July.
Heat Biologics Inc. has named Robert Jakobs vice president of finance. Jakobs joined the Durham-based biotechnology firm as a controller on March 4. He previously served as vice president of accounting and finance of Anutra Medical Inc. He succeeds Ann Rosar, who will retire on March 31 but remain with the company through the end of the year as a consultant.
Asheville sushi restaurant Champa has closed after nearly a decade over a dispute over who had the right to occupy the property on Biltmore Ave. The space has been leased by Steve and Nan Klein, owners of The Wine and Oyster, who plan to serve craft cocktails, wine, lunch and dinner at the downtown location. A Champa location remains open in Hendersonville.
Jack Snow, CEO of BB&T Corp. affiliate Sheffield Financial, will retire April 1. Snow has worked in the financial-services industry for more than three decades. Winston-Salem-based BB&T purchased Sheffield, which provides financing for motorcycles, snowmobiles and other outdoor power equipment, in Aug. 1997. Sheffield President Jeffrey McKay will succeed him.
AsteelFlash USA is closing its Morrisville plant and laying off 204 workers, including employees in production, quality control and engineering. The plant will close May 6. The electronic manufacturing services firm’s parent company, AsteelFlash Group, is based in France and has operations in 18 countries.
Ex-Cell Home Fashions Inc. is closing its Goldsboro plant and laying off 63 workers. The plant will close May 31. Ex-Cell Home Fashions sells shower curtains, shower curtain hooks, tension rods, bath mats, tablecloth, place mats, napkins and napkin rings. The company previously cut 50 employees in April 2016.
EnPro Industries named Marvin Riley as its next chief executive officer, effectuve with the July retirement of current CEO Stephen Macadam. Riley, 44, has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer since July 2017. The Charlotte-based firm manufactures sealing products, metal polymer and filament wound bearings, components and service for compressors and diesel and dual-fuel engines.
BMC Stock Holdings Inc. Chief Operating Officer Mike McGaugh resigned. He has served as COO and executive vice president since Feb. 2017. The Raleigh building supply company, which eliminated the position after McGaugh’s departure, had $3.7 billion in sales in 2018. CEO Dave Flitman said the company wanted to “flatten the organizational structure,” according to a press release.
Kewaunee Scientific Corp. President and CEO David Rausch resigned. He’s led the Stateville lab and scientific furniture manufacturer since 2012. Kewaunee CFO Tom Hull was appointed as the president and CEO. Kewaunee has three Statesville plants, a factory in India and a regional headquarters and assembly operation in China.
The Greensboro-High Point area is ranked among the top 10 similarly-sized metros in the U.S. for economic development, according to Atlanta-based Site Selection magazine. The area, which ranked No. 8 on the list, had 24 projects and has made the top 10 list every year since 2006. The other areas in the top 10 include Omaha, Neb.-Council Bluffs, Iowa; Dayton-Kettering, Ohio; Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa; Toledo, Ohio; Lincoln, Neb.; Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; Tulsa, Okla.; Lexington-Fayette, Ky.; Reno Nev.; and Savannah, Ga.
The Federal Highway Administration has approved plans for the Mid-Currituck Bridge, a 4.7-mile, two-lane toll bridge across the Currituck Sound and a 1.5 mile long bridge across the Maple Swamp in the Outer Banks. The project is projected to cost about $490.6 million and could open as early as 2023. Officials say that in 2040, 2.8 million trips would be made across the bridge.