From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on July 10, 2013 - 9:15am - Add new comment

An article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek suggests DSM is considering a move to get out of making caprolactam, which is done here in Augusta.


Bloomberg in November wrote about DSM looking for partners in the chemical sales business, but now is reporting through unnamed sources that the company is trying to sell off the production business, too.


Caprolactam? It is the building block of carpet and is also used in car parts. Royal DSM, which is based in Amsterdam, makes caprolactam in Holland, China and Augusta.


By: Tim Rausch on July 5, 2013 - 5:22am - Add new comment

Three days after Father’s Day, I became a father for the fourth time. This time my wife and I had a daughter. She’s cute as a button and will be ruling her three brothers before we know it. So my two-week paternity leave is over, and I’m back in the business editor’s chair.


HONORABLE MENTION: Augusta’s Starbucks plant was an honorable mention in Site Selection magazine when it ranked the top economic development deals in North America.


By: Tim Rausch on June 6, 2013 - 12:28pm - Add new comment

Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial Corp. is redesigning a portion of downtown Knoxville.


The Augusta-based firm unveiled plans on Tuesday for 23 acres of waterfront property where a hospital once stood. The site will have 300 luxury Class A apartment units overlooking the Tennessee River, 225 student housing suites, a 150 room waterfront hotel and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space.


By: Tim Rausch on May 30, 2013 - 9:36am - Add new comment

If you shop at Reid’s or Harveys, the new owner of those grocery chains claims they are going to stay independent and not much will change.

 Behind the scenes, the owner will switch from Food Lion to Bi-Lo. Reid’s is located in Aiken County. There’s a Harveys in Burke County.

 On Memorial Day, Bi-Lo Holdings announced that it would buy those chains (along with Sweetbay, which you’ll find in Florida) for $265 million in cash – no extreme couponing involved – from Delhaize Group, which is the parent company for Food Lion.

By: Tim Rausch on May 24, 2013 - 9:14am - Add new comment

The unemployment rate for Augusta follows the same pattern every year.


By: Tim Rausch on May 17, 2013 - 9:11am - Add new comment

Alli seems to be back in the good graces of the accounting department at GlaxoSmithKline.


The weight-loss drug, which is made in Aiken, was a drag on Glaxo’s books last year because of supply chain problems.


There was a three-month manufacturing freeze because Swiss drug company Roche could not provide the active ingredient – orlisat – because of quality problems in a different South Carolina facility. As supplies of Alli dwindled, Glaxo said it didn’t sell a single pill to pharmacies or retailers for three months.


By: Tim Rausch on May 10, 2013 - 10:20am - Add new comment

Metro-area foreclosures were way down for April.

According to RealtyTrac, which publishes foreclosure numbers for states and metro areas, there were 133 foreclosure filings in April. That’s down from 269 in April 2012. Yes, a 50 percent drop.

By: Tim Rausch on May 3, 2013 - 10:18am - Add new comment

Construction employment increased in 152 out of 339 metropolitan areas between March 2012 and March 2013.

By: Tim Rausch on April 25, 2013 - 12:49pm - Add new comment

Driving past the Starbucks, I see walls enclosing half of the plant and some structural steel showing on the other half.


Starbucks is the first plant to go up inside the Augusta Corporate Park in south Augusta. Workers should be making coffee packets there in 2014.


The company is spending $172 million on the facility and will hire 140 people. The plant will be Starbucks first facility in the world to roast, package and ship soluble coffee products.


By: Tim Rausch on April 3, 2013 - 10:30am - Add new comment

When International Paper shut down one of its three paperboard machines at the end of February, it eliminated 75 positions from its payroll.


Officials for the company say they were able to accommodate the job reduction without forced layoffs.


There were retirements and transfers to other parts of the plant. IP also offered “enhanced” voluntary severance packages.


After the downsizing, IP still has 740 workers making paperboard in south Augusta.


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