• Roche Diagnostics Corp. is investing $300 million over the next 10 years at its 160-acre North American headquarters campus in Indianapolis. The capital investments, which will include the refurbishing of existing buildings, purchasing of manufacturing equipment for new diabetes care test strips and upgrading of information technology equipment, will support the company’s growing diagnostics and diabetes care businesses. The expansion will create up to 100 new jobs by 2017.
• Alcoa has broken ground in Lafayette, Ind., for a new state-of-the-art aluminum lithium facility. The $90 million, 115,000-s.f. facility, which is next to the company’s existing Lafayette plant, will produce a newly patented aluminum lithium that will allow air framers to build dramatically lighter and lower-cost airplanes. The expanded facility will create approximately 75 permanent jobs. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2014.
• Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. has acquired 1-800 CONTACTS Inc., in a transaction valued at $900 million. Utah-based 1-800 CONTACTS is the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer retailer of contact lenses, with some 3.3 million customers. The company will remain headquartered in Utah, operating as a wholly owned division of WellPoint.
• Eaton, a global power management company headquartered in Cleveland, has announced plans to acquire Cooper Industries plc, a leading supplier of electrical equipment, in a transaction valued at $11.8 billion. At the close of the transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2012, Eaton and Cooper will be combined under a new company incorporated in Ireland, where Cooper is currently incorporated. The newly created company, which is expected to be called Eaton Global Corp., will be led by Eaton Chairman and CEO Alexander M. Cutler.
• Cincinnati-based Convergys Corp. has sold its information management business to NEC Corp. in a deal valued at $449 million. The transaction covers all of the IM business, including Convergys’ Smart Revenue Solutions for the telecommunications, cable, satellite, broadband, utilities and logistics markets.
• Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America LLC has signed an agreement with Shell Oil Products US and its affiliates to construct and operate a network of natural gas fueling lanes at TA locations along the U.S. interstate highway system. The agreement calls for Shell to construct and TA to operate at least 200 natural gas fueling lanes on at least 100 TA locations.
• Jostens Inc.’s plant in Clarksville, Tenn., will be absorbing the memory book production operations that are being phased out of the company’s Topeka, Kan., facility. Jostens, a Minnesota-based company that specializes in school yearbooks, memory books, class rings and athletic memorabilia, currently has approximately 600 employees in Clarksville and will likely add more staff to handle the increased operations, although specific numbers were not available. The Topeka plant is losing 372 jobs.
• Mars Petcare and The Nutro Co. have broken ground on a $87 million Regional Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station, Tenn., that will serve as the companies’ home base for creating pet care innovations for the North American market. The companies produce some of the industry’s most well-known pet food brands, including Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar and Greenies, in addition to private-label pet foods. Construction of the four-building campus is expected to be complete in spring 2014. The center will support 144 jobs.