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IBM sale of Watson Health business assets finalized

Big Blue announced the sale of its healthcare data and analytics assets to private equity firm Francisco Partners. Financial details weren’t disclosed, but Bloomberg News reported the deal is worth more than $1 billion. IBM is focusing more on its cloud business, which is largely built around Raleigh-based Red Hat technology, which IBM acquired in 2019.

Home Depot plans speedier deliveries with Charlotte warehouse

Atlanta-based Home Depot, which has more than 6,800 employees in North Carolina, is planning to build a warehouse in rival Lowe’s home turf to boost its home delivery. City permits filed for “Project Skinny” describe plans for a 403,000-square-foot rail serve warehouse on nearly 80 acres in Steele Creek. Mooresville-based Lowe’s expects to open a tech hub center in South End this summer.

Novant details capital project expansion plans

Novant Health has unveiled capital expansion plans as part of its $1.5 billion purchase of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. An architect and design firm have reportedly been chosen for the biggest project, a 66-bed hospital in Scotts Hill. Novant is required to invest more than $3 billion in “growing and advancing NHRMC’s services in the area.”

International scandal helps rural areas prepare for electric vehicles

Volkswagen was caught manipulating software to allow its diesel-powered vehicles to pollute beyond federal and state emission standards, leading to a multi-billion-dollar settlement with federal and state regulators, as well as consumers. Now North Carolina is using a chunk of its $92 million award to build out the state’s charging network, especially in rural areas where charging infrastructure is often minimal at best.

LendingTree ushers in new executive team

Charlotte-based and publicly-traded LendingTree announced the hiring of Shiv Singh as the company’s chief marketing and customer experience officer, as well as the promotion of other existing employees. J.D. Moriarty steps in as president and chief operating officer, while Jorge de Castro will now be senior vice president of My LendingTree and partnerships.

BofA profit surged in Q4 on strong loan gains

Charlotte-based Bank of America reported fourth-quarter net income of $7 billion, or 82 cents per share, versus $5.47 billion, or 59 cents a year earlier. Revenue gained 10% to $22 billion.  The bank is spending $3.5 billion annually on technology and employs about 208,250 employees, about 4,250 fewer than a year ago. Loan growth surged in the quarter, CEO Brian Moynihan said.

Peters Development buys another High Point property

The High Point company paid $1.8 million for a 9,090-square-foot Class A medical office building, which was formerly home to an Atrium Heath diabetes treatment facility, across the street from the entrance to Truist Point Stadium. Peters is a sister company of Bethany Medical, which has seven High Point locations, three in Greensboro and two in Winston-Salem.

State businesses likely need to file amended tax return

Businesses that spent Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds in 2020 will likely need to file an amended North Carolina income tax return. In November, the state’s General Assembly passed S.L. 2021-180, which provided that deductible expenses paid with forgiven PPP loan proceeds are deductible for years 2020, 2021, and 2022 for North Carolina state tax purposes.

N.C. startup ProKidney to go public

Winston-Salem’s ProKidney, a life science company targeting kidney disease, is expected to go public with an estimated value of $2.6 billion with $825 million in cash. The move comes through a merger with California-based Social Capital Suvretta Holdings, which was announced Tuesday. ProKidney was formed seven years ago and will be able to fight kidney disease on a wider scale through the merger. 

California real estate investor pays $100M for RTP property

Alexandria Real Estate Equities paid just under $100 million for 122 acres last week, a site that includes a delayed large facility meant to produce injection devices for the mass delivery of vaccines. In November 2020, Connecticut-based ApiJect Systems announced a 185-acre campus for disposable injection devices which would create over 650 jobs. However, funds for the project were never released to ApiJect. Alexandria Real Estate says ApiJect has not reached out to them to discuss opening the campus once funds are released. 

RTP life science firms announce collaboration

Worldwide Clinical Trials and Science 37, two life science companies that moved headquarters to the Triangle within the last year, have announced a collaboration to create more patient-centered clinical trials. Worldwide Clinical Trials moved to RTP last January while Science 37 announced it would move its headquarters to Morrisville in December. 

600 new homes mapped for Rolesville

Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers filed a petition to rezone Tom’s Creek in Wake County’s Rolesville in hopes of bringing 600 homes to the site. The 224.6-acre property would be restricted to single-family detached homes and amenities would include a pool, clubhouse and outdoor activity areas. There would also be an unknown amount of open space, according to filings. 

John Harris plans run for office in N.C.

Just three years after testifying against his father, Mark Harris, in an election fraud case, John Harris announced plans to run for state House. Mark Harris ran for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in 2018 and won with the help of questionable absentee ballots. The election results were thrown out after John Harris testified that his father knew about the ballots. If current state maps are not redrawn, Harris will run in House District 36 in southern Wake County against Democratic Rep. Julie von Haefen.

N.C. startups raised $3.6B in 2021

Startups in the state raised $3.6 billion in venture capital in 2021 spread over 328 deals. Two transactions involving Cary’s Epic Games and Raleigh’s insightsoftware made up about 70% of the total. Capital invested in startups was higher last year, but there wasn’t a similar increase in the number of deals, an indicator that late-stage companies are raising money in “mega-rounds.” 

Charlotte, Raleigh airports get 5G buffer zone

Charlotte Douglas and Raleigh-Durham International Airports will get 5G buffer zones on Wednesday when wireless carriers roll out the new 5G service Wednesday. The Federal Aviation Administration has expressed concern radio signals from new 5G towers could interfere with aircraft altimeters, which help pilots land planes in low visibility conditions. The zones will be in place for 6 months while the FAA determines how planes will respond to 5G. 

Federal tax credit extension bodes well for state’s offshore wind projects

A 30% federal tax credit for offshore wind projects has been extended through 2025, a move that comes as the state’s Bureau for Ocean Energy Management prepares to put a second tract of North Carolina’s coastline up for lease. In an effort to decarbonize the nation’s electricity grid, there is a goal to reach a Biden administration goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind operating by 2030. 

Davie County saw fast growth in 2021

Davie County, and specifically the city of Mocksville, saw accelerated growth and economic development in 2021, including winning seven economic development projects over a 4-month period. The area is attractive to manufacturing and logistics operations in particular with coast-to-coast Interstate 40 cutting through the county and passing near the city. Some recent industrial park developers include Dockery, Joe Hollingsworth of The Hollingsworth Co. and Davie Industrial Center. 

N.C. legislature moves to delay elections until June 7

The state’s 2022 primary elections might be delayed again as legislative Republicans ready to vote on Wednesday to push them back until June 7. Elections are currently scheduled for May 17, a delay from the previous March 8 election date due to an ongoing legal dispute on election maps. Moving the primary would give the General Assembly more time to redraw legislative and congressional district maps if ordered by the Supreme Court 

Incentives cited for chip plant skipping N.C.

Greater incentives offers from other states may have been a factor in a semiconductor manufacturer’s decision to bypass North Carolina for a multibillion dollar plant, sources told Triangle Business Journal. A Chatham County site called Triangle Innovation Point was a top contender for the plant and remains a likely prospect for other major manufacturing expansions, officials say.

Trinity Capital developing 1M-square-foot industrial park in Gaston County

Trinity Capital Advisors is partnering with Clarion Partners to develop Edgewood85 Commerce Park in Gaston County, a speculative project that will include four industrial buildings totaling around 1 million square feet. The site is roughly 20 miles from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and 30 miles west of downtown Charlotte, with convenient access to Interstate 85.

Wayne Goodwin tapped to head state DMV

The former head of the state Department of Insurance and later the state Democratic Party was chosen the new commissioner of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Goodwin replaces former DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup, who stepped down in November to become chief operating officer of the state Department of Information Technology.

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