Home » Business Briefs — Oct. 2012

Business Briefs — Oct. 2012

By Karen Baird


Barton 1792 Distillery

Barton 1792 Distillery has purchased a 300,000-s.f. warehouse building in the Bardstown Industrial Park that will serve as the company’s new distribution center. The newly acquired building, which is three times the size of Barton’s current distribution center, will hold a million cases of spirits and will give the company the capability to expand bottling operations. The company is also purchasing eight acres adjacent to the warehouse that will be used for trailer staging.


H&G Limestone Products is investing $1.4 million to build and equip a 22,500-s.f. processing plant in Eddyville. H&G, which was formed in 2008, produces a fine, powder-like material from limestone that is used to manufacture roofing shingles and as a calcium supplement for a variety of animal food. An increased demand for the product as a food supplement is the driving force behind the company’s decision to expand its operations. The expansion is expected to add 10 jobs.


Pinnacle Airlines, a regional airline headquartered in Memphis, plans to open an aircraft maintenance facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to service its CRJ-200 and CRJ-900 aircraft. According to local reports, the airline has hired some of the airline workers in the area who lost jobs when Comair Inc. shut down its operations at the end of September. The exact number of jobs being created by the new Pinnacle facility has not been released.


Northern Kentucky University has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to establish a program to recruit and graduate financially needy, academically talented students who will enter graduate school or the workforce in a STEM discipline. The program will award a four-year scholarship to 17 incoming freshmen in each of four years for a total of 68 full scholarships. The first two years are paid from grant funds; the university will pay the last two. In 2010, NKU received a five-year grant of nearly $1 million to recruit and retain STEM students. Through that program, the university currently enrolls 60 scholars.


Freedom Metals Inc. has launched a new stainless steel and alloy scrap processing division that will operate out of a new facility on 30 acres in La Grange, just 10 miles north of the company’s main scrap yard in Louisville. Forming the Blue Alloys division “allows us to dive into a niche field and diversify our focus in the scrap market,” said Bruce Blue, founder of Freedom Metals.


— Construction has begun on a new $4 million, 8,500-s.f. visitor center at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg. The project follows a $44 million investment announced earlier this year for the company’s new 125,000-s.f. packaging facility, which is set to open in the fall of 2013 and will employ up to 62 people. The new visitor center, which is more than eight times the size of the existing visitor center, is slated to open in April 2013 and is expected to welcome upwards of 70,000 visitors annually.

— Four Roses Distillery opened a new 5,000-s.f. visitors center last month to give Kentucky Bourbon Trail tourists a close-up look at the brand’s operations. The new visitor center and gift shop is part of a $2.4 million expansion of the distillery, which has seen significant gains in tourist visits in recent years. Since 2004, visitors to the Four Roses Distillery have increased approximately 35 percent each year and by the end of 2012, the distillery expects to have hosted 50,000 visitors.


Morning Pointe Senior Living and Independent Healthcare Properties plans to add two new senior care communities in Lexington, increasing its total to seven facilities in Kentucky. The projects represent an $18 million investment in the Lexington area and will create 125 new jobs. Morning Pointe of Lexington East will be a 55,000-s.f. facility located near St. Joseph’s Hospital East and will offer personal care and Alzheimer’s memory care services in 73 apartments. The Lantern at Morning Pointe of Lexington will be adjacent to the existing Morning Pointe of Lexington facility on the city’s south side. A freestanding Alzheimer’s facility will offer 44 apartments specifically designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other memory-care disorders.

The Webb Companies has teamed with Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc. of Cincinnati to re-acquire the Victorian Square project in downtown Lexington from Alex Campbell and Bill Young Jr. The Webb Companies was the original developer of Victorian Square, a collection of retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues located on a historic block across from Rupp Arena that was developed nearly 30 years ago. The companies said the immediate focus will be on achieving the right eclectic mix of existing tenants as well as new national and locally owned restaurants and entertainment facilities.

PremierTox 2.0 Inc., a company that specializes in drug screening, is investing $250,000 to expand its operations in Lexington and will add 25 new jobs as part of the expansion. Founded in Russell Springs, Ky., in 2010, the company has expanded to seven states and offers lab services, patient and physician services, toxicologist and medical review officer services, on-site specimen collections, in-office placement of complete testing centers and billing services.

The University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics has restructured its program and divided the School of Management into three departments: the Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods; the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain; and the Department of Management. University officials said that having the management programs housed in three departments optimizes the college’s resources and will allow for greater focus to individual disciplines and increase the opportunities for them to attain national recognition.

The University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics has restructured its program.

— An innovative approach to alleviating traffic congestion along U.S. 68 in Lexington has been recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) as one of the 10 best transportation projects in the United States. The U.S. 68 Double Crossover Diamond won the Mid-America regional competition for a project under $25 million in the Innovation/Small Project category. The project transformed a congestion-prone interchange on one of Lexington’s busiest thoroughfares and improved traffic flow and safety at a fraction of the cost of a traditional interchange rebuild. By using existing infrastructure, project costs were held to $5.5 million, as opposed to $15 million or $20 million to completely rebuild the interchange.

— Some 40 employees from St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital East have been laid off by parent company KentuckyOne Health. The company said the cuts were tied to a decrease in patient demand and the challenges of “adapting to an ever-changing business environment.”

The Thoroughbred Times, a Lexington-based magazine that covered the horse industry, closed its operations last month after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Editor Mark Simon said the publication had accrued a significant amount of debt in the midst of the overall economic downturn and simply couldn’t recover. The magazine employed 27 full-time employees.


— Louisville-based LG&E/KU was recently named by Site Selection magazine as one of the nation’s top utility companies for economic development for 2012. Site Selection compiled the list using a mix of objective and subjective criteria that included: analysis of corporate end-user project activity in 2011; website tools and data; survey input from site location decision makers; innovative programs and incentives for business, including energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; and the utility’s own job-creating infrastructure and facility investment trends.

SGS International Inc., a Louisville digital imaging company, has been acquired by Onex Corp. for $813 million. SGS provides packaging graphics services to companies around the world and has more than 2,400 employees spanning a network of 37 production facilities and more than 100 customer locations across 14 companies. Onex is a Toronto-based private equity firm with annual revenues of $34 billion. The company employs some 235,000 people worldwide.

— Louisville-based Republic Bancorp Inc. has expanded into the Minneapolis, Minn., market by acquiring the assets and liabilities of First Commercial Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In addition to assuming approximately $207 million in deposits of FCB (both insured and uninsured), RB&T acquired loans and other real estate owned with a book value of approximately $194 million, at a discount of $79 million. “This represents the second FDIC-assisted transaction that we have completed in 2012,” said Republic Chairman and CEO Steve Trager. “We look forward to leveraging the knowledge we gained from our acquisition of Tennessee Commerce Bank in January to make this a seamless and successful transition for FCB’s clients.” Republic is a $3.3 billion bank holding company that employs 780 people across 43 locations in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and Tennessee.

Siemens PLM Software has given an in-kind grant of software valued at $427 million to the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering that will allow students to use and benefit from the same technology that a wide variety of global industries use to develop their products. Using the PLM (product lifecycle management) software throughout the curriculum will enable students to increase their capabilities through learning how design, simulation, tooling, manufacturing and disposal are connected and interdependent.

— Louisville-based pizza chain Papa John’s International Inc. recently celebrated the opening of its 4,000th store – located in New Hyde Park, N.Y. – by giving away 4,000 pizzas in nearby New York City. Since opening its first store in 1984, the company now has locations in 32 countries on five continents.

— Carl Brazley, owner of Louisville-based Mo’ Better Marketing, has purchased Louisville public relations/marketing/advertising agency New West for an undisclosed amount. The merged company, which will have 17 full-time employees and six part-time employees, will operate under the New West name. The acquisition places New West among the largest African-American-owned ad agencies in the country.

 Jordan Technologies, a Louisville-based company that produces vapor recovery units used by the petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries, has been acquired by Flare Industries for an undisclosed amount. Flare, headquartered in Austin, Texas, produces and installs combustion and pollution control technology and equipment. The combined company will serve as a single source for vapor recovery customers, but will retain the Flare and Jordan brands in the marketplace and Mark Jordan will remain Jordan’s president. Founded in 1980, Jordan now manufactures equipment in 10 countries, has offices in North America, Italy and Australia and has 110 full-time employees, 77 of whom are in Louisville. Flare has approximately 150 employees.


The Old Pogue Distillery has joined the Kentucky Distillers Association, a nonprofit trade association that serves as the spirits industry’s voice on a variety of issues. Old Pogue Distillery is the 13th member of the KDA and the seventh Kentucky craft distillery to join the association.


Chemical manufacturer R.T. Vanderbilt is investing $13.5 million to expand its operations in Murray, adding seven new jobs to the company’s existing 87-member work force there. R.T. Vanderbilt has been in business for nearly 100 years and currently sells more than 800 mineral and chemical products to 80 countries around the world. In addition to its Murray plant, the company also operates a manufacturing plant in Connecticut and mining and mineral processing facilities across the nation.


Newport-based Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals has agreed to sell the rights to its pain medication Roxicodone to Mallinckrodt, the pharmaceuticals business of Covidien. Mallinckrodt is the largest U.S. supplier of opioid pain medications and among the top 10 generic pharmaceuticals manufacturers in the United States. After selling its Zipsor pain-relief medication to DepoMed in June for $26 million, Xanodyne is scaling back its operations and notified the state in July of its plans to lay off 114 employees. The company also remains embroiled in lawsuits stemming from deaths tied to the drugs Darvon and Darvocet, which Xanodyne used to distribute.


First Security Bank of Owensboro has further expanded into the Evansville, Ind., market with the acquisition of a former Integra Bank building in downtown Louisville. The acquisition is the latest in a string of announcements this year that have included opening a new office in Lexington, opening a new headquarters location in downtown Owensboro, and acquiring four branch locations in the Louisville market.


— A $120,000 grant has been issued to study future uses of the Blue Grass Army Depot’s weapons disposal plant after the weapons are gone, the Richmond Register reports. The first phase of the plan will be a job-loss aversion study and is being funded by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The chemical weapons stockpile stored at the depot is comprised of 523 tons of nerve agents GB and VX, and mustard agent in projectiles, warheads and rockets. A weapons disposal plant is being built to destroy the weapons. Nearly 1,000 people are employed to facilitate the chemical weapons disposal mission.

Thunder Tool & Manufacturing Ltd., a Canadian metal stamping company, has purchased a 30,000-s.f. facility in Richmond’s Industrial Park South II. “When the opportunity arose for us to put our facility in the United States and expand our presence in North America, we were excited that Richmond, Ky., had everything we were looking for,” said Singh Hansra, president and CEO of Thunder Manufacturing USA Inc. “Richmond has a strategic location, sound workforce and business-friendly local government.” The company is investing $2.2 million in the project and plans to hire 45 full-time employees.


MainSource Bank, a Greensburg, Ind.-based bank that operates in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, has expanded its presence in Kentucky with the purchase of an American Founders Bank Inc. branch in Shelbyville, Ky. The purchase includes the banking facility as well as approximately $37 million in loans and $37 million in deposits. Lexington-based American Founders Bancorp, through its subsidiary American Founders Bank, currently has seven financial centers in Lexington, Louisville and Shelbyville.


— Lexington marketing and public relations firm Preston-Osborne has opened a regional satellite office in Somerset. CEO Phil Osborne said, “The location here gives us better exposure in the immediate area for the services we provide and also serves as a central point to expand our visibility more readily in other areas of the state where we have some existing clients, including the east-west corridors along the parkways from Hazard to Bowling Green.”

Tru-Check Inc., a Somerset company that collects data for utility companies, has built a new 6,000-s.f. national headquarters facility in Somerset and is adding 10 full-time positions. Since being formed in 1993, the company now reads more than 2.5 million meters each month.


Louisville-based Office Resource Inc. and Cardinal Office Systems, which has offices in Lexington/Nicholasville, Frankfort and Bowling Green, have combined to create a statewide enterprise. The combined company offers architectural systems, technology solutions and contract furniture and services.