Lafayette-based Wabash National Corp. (NYSE: WNC) officials say the so-called "Amazon Effect" was a catalyst in plans to acquire Goshen-based Supreme Industries Inc. (NYSEMKT: STS). The continued growth of e-commerce drove the truck trailer manufacturer to offer $21 per share, or $364 million in equity value, for the second-largest truck body maker in America. Consumer demand and growth are so high for home delivery, Wabash National leaders say, that the company will launch a "final mile" business unit if the deal clears remaining hurdles. In a conference call with investors this week, Chief Executive Officer Dick Giromini says the acquisition of Supreme will position Wabash National where trends continue to head.
Ultra-thin battery tech company adding Indiana presence: The Battery Innovation Center in Crane says an industry partner has "crossed-over" to set-up a dedicated operation within the public-private innovation hub for the first time. Interim President Ben Wrightsman compares the promise of the expanded partnership with Florida-based BrightVolt Inc. to "betting on a farm that already has a winning horse." He says a rechargeable version of the company's flat and flexible battery cells is expected to hit the market early next year. He says the BIC has "always been in on" BrightVolt's technology since they began partnering late last year.
Old National to acquire Minnesota bank: Evansville-based Old National Bancorp (Nasdaq: ONB) has announced plans to acquire Minnesota-based Anchor Bancorp Inc. Old National says the deal, currently valued at more than $300 million, is part of the bank's strategy to expand its franchise in "demographically attractive and economically vibrant" markets.
President: Relocating university campus to Indiana 'a No-Brainer': Horizon University President Bill Goodrich calls the decision to relocate the small, Christian school's campus from San Diego to the Geist area of Indianapolis "a no-brainer." The college, which also offers courses online, launched in 1993 and received accreditation from the Association of Biblical Higher Education in 2013. Goodrich tells Inside INdiana Business moving the university will bring it closer to the existing K-12 and Bible College options based at the 100-acre Horizon Christian Fellowship property. He says the move represents a "reboot" for the private educational institution.
Tri-State leaders recommend I-69 bridge preference: A group of stakeholders in the Tri-State is urging the project manager of the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project to move forward with the lowest-cost and shortest of the three routes on a short-list of suggested alternatives. The BridgeLink board members say the $860 million "Central Corridor 1" option would maintain use of the current twin bridges in the area.
Manufacturer expanding in Noble County: Elkhart-based Forest River Inc. is planning to locate to an empty, 118,000 square-foot warehouse in the city’s industrial park. The company plans to create some 130 jobs by the end of the year. The positions could start between $15 and $18 per hour and could eventually rise to $40 per hour. The total investment has not been disclosed.
'Papa John' brings boost to fieldhouse campaign: An effort to rehabilitate a longstanding fieldhouse in Jeffersonville has received a major boost. City officials are looking to raise $1.8 million to make a variety of improvements to the Nachand Fieldhouse and Jeffersonville native John Schnatter, founder of Louisville-based Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA), is contributing $800,000 to the campaign.
Brooks Running Co. plans Whitestown jobs: Seattle-based Brooks Running Co. is planning to locate a footwear and apparel distribution center in Boone County. The 400,000 square-foot facility in the AllPoints at Anson business park in Whitestown is expected to involve more than 130 new jobs by 2023.
Foundry-to-apartment project secures funding: The city of Elkhart has approved economic development revenue bonds to help fund a $32 million mixed-use development planned downtown. The $4.7 million bond was approved unanimously for what the city calls the first large-scale, market rate apartments in the city in almost 30 years.
IBM vows appeal after $128M ruling: The state of Indiana has been awarded $128 million in damages for a long-running lawsuit with IBM. The case involves what the state has maintained was a breach of contract by the software provider for welfare system modernization services. IBM issued a statement following the ruling, saying it will continue to fight the decision.
Krone scraps Shelbyville plans: An agriculture equipment company has called off plans to move its headquarters from Tennessee to Shelbyville. Krone North America's $12.5 million plan was expected to bring more than 100 new jobs. Shelby County Development Corp. Executive Director Brian Asher says the decision had to do with company issues, and while the city is disappointed, he is eager to see what opportunities the shovel-ready site may bring in the future. When the company announced its plans last year, Chief Executive Officer Tommy Jones said the move would provide the company with "a strong base of knowledgeable workers."
Greenwood lands U.S. HQ of U.K. company: An England-based luggage maker has announced plans for a U.S. headquarters in Greenwood. IT Luggage USA Ltd. says it will invest $1.8 million into renovations at a facility in the Johnson County city and could add 15 jobs by 2021.