Business news from Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia
— Lippert Components Manufacturing Inc. and Kinro Manufacturing Inc. have chosen Goshen and Elkhart, Ind., as the sites for a new thermo forming operation and an expanded glass tempering and awning operation. The expansions are expected to create up to 260 new jobs by 2015. Lippert Components and Kinro currently employ more than 4,000 full-time workers at locations throughout northern Indiana.
— Whirlpool has announced that it will close its Evansville refrigeration product development center by the end of 2014 and will move the operations to Michigan, where the company is headquartered. At one time, Whirlpool employed nearly 10,000 workers in the Evansville area, but the company closed its Evansville refrigerator production plant in 2010, which eliminated 1,200 jobs. Closing the refrigeration product development center will affect 217 employees, most of who are engineers and product developers.
— Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., a healthcare technologies company headquartered in Batesville, Ind., has acquired Aspen Surgical Products for $400 million. Aspen is privately held company based in Michigan. The company’s product lines include Bard-Parker conventional and safety scalpels and blades, Colby fluid collection products, Richard-Allan specialty needles, a variety of other operating room disposables and instrument care products as well as wound care dressings.
— Cincinnati-based pharmaceutical provider Omnicare Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire the pharmacy division of Five Star Quality Care Inc. for $30.7 million. The pharmacy business of Five Star, a Massachusetts-based healthcare and senior living services provider, includes eight licensed pharmacies operating in 13 states that provide institutional pharmacy services to 247 senior living communities.
— Koch Foods is investing $45 million to double the size of its chicken processing and packaging plant in Fairfield, Ohio, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The project will include a 179,900-s.f. addition as well as improvements to the existing 185,000-s.f. plant and new machinery and equipment. The expansion will add nearly 400 jobs within the next three years. The Chicago-based company currently employs 730 people in Fairfield.
— Approximately 170 employees have been laid off from the American Showa plant in Blanchester, Ohio, where the company produces power steering units for the automotive industry. Company officials said most of the company’s customers are changing from hydraulic power steering to electric power steering, which requires a manufacturing process that the Blanchester plant is not equipped to produce.
— Pilot Flying J, a Knoxville company that is one of the nation’s largest wholesale fuel providers, has acquired controlling interest in Maxum, a national marketer and logistics company for petroleum products. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
— Ceramaspeed, a provider of electric radiant heating solutions for the glass ceramic appliance market, has acquired German company Isphording and plans to relocate its operations into the former Klote International facility in Maryville, Tenn. Cermaspeed will produce gas burners at the new facility and will have the capability to produce parts for a variety of customers in the consumer and commercial appliance markets. The new operations will create 40 jobs.
— Nippon Thermostat of America is investing $4 million to expand its facility in Putnam County, which supplies engine thermostats for automotive manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota. The expansion will add 30 new jobs.