September 3, 2013

SC business notebook, Sept 4

2AM Group opens Blythewood facility; Kodak emerges from bankruptcy; Shareholder opposes Chinese takeover of Smithfield Foods; Microsoft buying Nokia’s phone business; Maine ramping up lobster PR

2AM Group opens Blythewood facility

2AM Group, a supplier of logistics, manufacturing and quality services to the automotive, aerospace and marine industries, said Tuesday it has opened a new production facility in Blythewood – a $500,000 investment intended to create 100 new jobs over the next three years. The Spartanburg-based company opened the new plant at 110 Belk Court in mid-August. The company supplies such manufacturers as BMW, Daimler Van, Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz. The company is currently hiring. Visit for jobs.

Kodak emerges from bankruptcy

Kodak’s trip through bankruptcy is now a memory for the scrapbook. Kodak says it finished its restructuring and exited Chapter 11 on Tuesday. The company says it’s now a commercial imaging company serving business markets such as packaging and graphics. Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez says it’s on track for profitable growth. Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection last year, brought down by increasing competition, digital photography, and debt. Since then it has sold off many of its businesses and patents, while shutting down the camera manufacturing unit that made it famous.

Shareholder opposes Chinese takeover of Smithfield Foods

One of Smithfield Foods’ largest shareholders says it plans to vote against a proposed the pork producer’s takeover by a Chinese company. New York-based investment firm Starboard Value LP sent a letter to Smithfield’ shareholders on Tuesday saying it intends to vote against the deal struck with Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. Smithfield Foods Inc. has scheduled a Sept. 24 shareholders meeting in Richmond to vote on the takeover.

Microsoft buying Nokia’s phone business

Microsoft is wagering $7.2 billion on the idea that owning Nokia’s phone business will help the software giant grab a bigger slice of the lucrative mobile market from Apple and Google. The Windows maker is buying Nokia Corp.’s line-up of smartphones and a portfolio of patents and services. The 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) deal, announced late Monday, marks a major step in the company’s push to transform itself from a software maker focused on desktop and laptop computers into a more versatile and nimble company that delivers services on any kind of Internet-connected gadget.

Maine ramping up lobster PR

California has its raisins, Florida its oranges and Vermont has maple syrup. Now, Maine’s lobster industry is trying to market its brand more broadly and increase sales of what’s already the state’s best-known seafood. A state law taking effect in October will raise the annual marketing budget for lobsters to more than $2.2 million, a six-fold increase. The goal is to grow demand in the U.S. and abroad, while increasing prices to help fishermen increase their income.

The Associated Press contributed.

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