Henrico-based Brink’s plans $860 million deal for UK-based company

RICHMOND, Va. – The Brink’s Company, the global leader in total cash management, route-based secure logistics and payment solutions, today announced that it has agreed to purchase for approximately $860 million (£660 million) the majority of the cash operations of U.K.-based G4S plc, a global security and cash management company.

The G4S operations to be acquired generated pro forma 2019 revenue of approximately $800 million, operating profit of approximately $85 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $115 million. The transaction adds 14 new markets to the existing Brink’s footprint. It excludes the entire G4S Retail Cash Solutions business and cash operations in the U.K., South Africa and several smaller markets.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings in 2020 and reflects a purchase multiple of approximately 7.5 times 2019 pro forma adjusted EBITDA. Management expects to achieve cost-based synergies over the next two years that would result in a post-synergy purchase multiple of approximately 6.5 times. On a fully-synergized pro forma basis, Brink’s 2020 revenue would be approximately $4.6 billion with adjusted EBITDA of approximately $745 million.

Doug Pertz, president and chief executive officer of Brink’s, said: “This transaction represents our largest acquisition to date and further demonstrates our disciplined approach to value-added capital allocation. The acquisition of these select G4S cash operations is an excellent strategic fit that provides a strong platform for substantial growth. It positions us to extend our proven Strategy 1.0 organic revenue and operating profit growth initiatives into 14 new markets including cash-intensive, emerging growth markets in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Read the full press release here.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Medicines for All Institute has entered into a partnership with a manufacturer in South Africa to commercialize advances made by the institute to improve access to lifesaving medications for HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

The institute, which has successfully developed cost-saving formulas for key anti-HIV drugs, is based at Virginia Commonwealth University and its College of Engineering in Richmond, Virginia.

Officials at VCU and Chemical Process Technologies Pharma Ltd. recently signed a three-year agreement outlining their collaboration. The South African company will validate and scale up processes developed by Medicines for All and serve as a test site for increased production. The institute will work with the company to develop new processes and technologies.

“We see this as a beneficial collaboration for both parties,” said Perrer Tosso, Ph.D., global innovation manager for Medicines for All. The institute seeks to have its processes implemented in low-income countries, especially in Africa. CPT Pharma does not have to start from scratch to develop new processes. “The manufacturer has the opportunity to adopt our processes and carry them through commercialization,” he said.

Both partners hope the cooperation will lead to lower drug costs in the local market — and ultimately, the global market.

CPT Pharma, based in Waltloo, Pretoria, South Africa, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chemical Process Technologies, which has been manufacturing animal health products and animal health active pharmaceutical ingredients since 2001. In 2014, CPT began expanding its business into human health. With support from South African government agencies, it opened a four-story pilot plant in Pretoria in 2017 to manufacture generic active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Hannes Malan, Ph.D., managing director of CPT Pharma, said he was intrigued when he heard about the institute’s groundbreaking work on the anti-HIV medication nevirapine. South Africa is home to the world’s largest AIDS epidemic and relies on medications that are imported.

“Medicines for All’s vision of improving access to lifesaving medications by developing and commercializing technology could help make the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in Africa a reality,” Malan said.

Malan’s company focuses on chemical process development and technology commercialization. “We understand the challenges of taking a reaction,” and deploying the final major step to scale it up, he said. “We’re extremely excited about the opportunity.”

During the technology transfer process, VCU will host South African doctoral students and researchers in Richmond and send its researchers to South Africa.

CPT Pharma’s pilot plant was developed with funding from the state-owned Industrial Development Corp., which seeks to spur sustainable economic growth in South Africa and Africa.

“It is anticipated that commercializing processes developed by [Medicines for All] in South Africa will improve the security of the supply of priority drugs, and create the institutional capacity to develop a local [active pharmaceutical ingredients] manufacturing industry,” said Nelis Geyer, industry development champion for chemical products and pharmaceuticals at Industrial Development Corp.

One goal of the institute is to reduce global dependence on a few manufacturers while empowering other countries to be self-sufficient in providing high-quality health care to their own citizens.

The institute is also working with the Ivory Coast government to train researchers and develop high-quality pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities in the West African country.

About Medicines for All
The Medicines for All Institute operates under the auspices of the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering. The institute’s mission is to improve access to affordable, high-­quality medicines. This is done by lowering the cost of medications, both in market and in development, as well as enhancing the security of supply chains for these essential medications. Medicines for All accomplishes its mission by reducing the cost of active pharmaceutical ingredients — a major cost driver in treating infectious diseases in the developing world

About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan.


Record 26 VCU Brandcenter alumni worked on Super Bowl ads

The VCU Brandcenter, a graduate program for advertising and branding in Richmond, Va., is a breeding ground for future Super Bowl commercial makers. Most people in the advertising industry work their whole careers without ever having the chance to work on a Super Bowl spot. This year, a record 26 Brandcenter alumni worked on 18 of the most talked about Super Bowl ads.

“Our alumni are the creative minds behind some of the biggest brands in the world,” said Vann Graves, executive director of Brandcenter. “We’re proud to see such a huge number of Brandcenter alums behind the scenes of the biggest media event of the year.”

When something is declared the “best thing since sliced bread,” where does that leave the bread?

That’s the premise behind Little Caesars’ first Super Bowl ad, which aired during the game. The spot features Rainn Wilson as an executive at Sliced Bread Headquarters who is distraught over Little Caesars’ new delivery service being compared to his product.

“Sliced bread is toast,” exclaims a newscaster to Wilson’s chagrin.

While the creatives at McKinney Durham deserve the credit for developing and creating the ad, it wouldn’t have been possible if Little Caesars hadn’t been all in, said Will Dean, the ad’s co-creative director with Lyle Yetman, with whom he often partnered as Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter classmates.

“Our clients at Little Caesars were some of the smartest and best people to work with because they take risks,” Dean said. “We’re just really proud to have them as a client. They enable us to do our best work because we’re aligned with them really well.”

Read the full story here.

Henrico-based Alchemco purchases Tech-Crete, to add 15-20 jobs

Alchemco, a full-line manufacturer of products used to clean, repair, protect, and waterproof concrete and masonry structures, has taken another step in its strategic plan of growth through acquisition. Alchemco recently acquired the North Dakota-based manufacturing company, Tech-Crete LLC.

Curtis Nelson, an innovative chemist and decorated veteran of the Korean War reached an agreement to sell the company that he first created in the mid-1970’s, to Mario Baggio, CEO of Alchemco, after a year-long negotiation process.

“Tech-Crete’s unique and innovative biochemical waterproofing technology is a great addition to our portfolio” commented Baggio. The acquisition of Tech-Crete, LLC provides Alchemco with sole ownership of their proprietary, industry leading concrete protection formula. Alchemco products are used on projects throughout North America, as well as on five different continents. One of the most unique offerings, ‘TechCrete 2500 Waterproofing Agent’ was recently nominated for the ‘2020 Most Innovative Product Award’ at the upcoming World of Concrete Convention in Las Vegas.

According to Baggio, “we originally established the corporate headquarters for our company in the Richmond area in 2016. The acquisition of TechCrete’s waterproofing technology will help drive the future growth of our product lines in many countries around the world. The Richmond area was selected as the base for the company’s global expansion because of the very ‘business friendly’ nature of the community, along with it being a great place to live and raise a family.”

The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. Alchemco plans to hire 15-to-20 employees over the next three years, primarily in the sales and customer service categories. Alchemco projects that this acquisition will generate an additional $50 million in revenue over a five-year period.


ePac Flexible Packaging to invest $6.5m in new facility, create 35 jobs

RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam announced that ePac Flexible Packaging, a provider of digitally printed flexible packaging, will invest $6.5 million to establish a new, high-tech manufacturing facility in Henrico County. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina and Maryland for the project, which will create 35 new jobs.

“Technology is changing the way companies operate, and ePac Flexible Packaging has developed an innovative digital platform that sets the company apart from its competitors,” said Gov. Northam. “ePac’s new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Henrico County will enable the company to continue producing and delivering orders quickly and efficiently, and help drive the growth of Virginia businesses that will now have access to a high-quality, local provider of sustainable packaging solutions.”

Founded in 2016 with a mission to serve small-and medium-size businesses throughout the United States, ePac Flexible Packaging is technology-driven and built to provide customers with a fast and easy way to buy flexible packaging. ePac is the first supplier in North America built entirely on the latest wide-web digital printing technology, the HP Indigo 20000. The company produces finished pouches and rollstock, and offers high-definition custom printing with variable imaging while eliminating plate fees and enabling customers to print to demand.

“As ePac Flexible Packaging continues to expand its reach across the United States and internationally, we are pleased that Henrico County offers the robust infrastructure and strategic location needed for the company’s new manufacturing operation,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This important investment will provide ePac access to greater markets from the Commonwealth, and we are proud to support the company’s growth.”

“ePac was created with a mission to provide locally-based consumer packaged goods companies with great flexible packaging to compete with large brands and to go to market quickly and economically,” said Robert Laird, General Manager of ePac Richmond. “Our customers are predominantly small- and medium-sized food manufacturers who value fast time-to-market and the ability to order to demand. As we evaluated the Virginia market, we found a vibrant food manufacturing industry that we believe we could add value to and help small brands become big brands.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Henrico Economic Development Authority to secure the project for Virginia and will support ePac’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.

“We are pleased to welcome ePac to Henrico County,” said Fairfield District Supervisor Frank Thornton. “With its emerging, advanced manufacturing technology and its perfect location off I-95 at the North Run Business Park, ePac will deliver excellent products and provide fast service to its customers. We wish ePac much success and thank them for joining our manufacturing community in Henrico County.”

“This is great news for the economy of Henrico County and the Greater Richmond metro area,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan. “These 35 jobs at ePac will help bolster Henrico County’s growing technology hub, and will support continued economic growth in our region. Our region is a great place for small businesses to locate, and we will continue working to bring more quality jobs to Greater Richmond.”


Richmond International Airport (RIC) sets new passengers record in 2019

At the monthly meeting of the Capital Region Airport Commission, Richmond International Airport (RIC) reported a new annual record of 4,379,663 passengers, eclipsing the previous mark established a year ago by 7.4 percent. Additionally, with a passenger traffic count of 381,767, December 2019 established a new December record, topping last year’s mark by 12.7 percent. The Airport has reported 27 consecutive months of record traffic.

Moreover, in 2019 the Airport reported annual increases in total cargo, gaining 1.0 percent to 140 million pounds handled, and in aircraft operations, showing 5.3 percent growth in aircraft movements versus the previous year.

In December, all signatory carriers, including Southwest (+18.8%), United (+13.6%), Spirit (+12.9%), and Delta (+12.4%), reported year-over-year passenger growth. Delta Air Lines was the market share leader, claiming a 30.3 percent share of passenger traffic, followed by American and United.

Total cargo, measured as a sum of freight and mail, increased 2.0 percent in December versus the year-ago period and total operations gained 7.6 percent over December 2018.

Read the full press release here.

$350m casino proposed in Richmond, project would create 2,500+ jobs

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has proposed a $350 million, 275-room resort hotel and casino in Richmond, the tribe announced Friday as the Virginia House of Delegates considers legislation to allow the Pamunkey to pursue commercial gaming in Norfolk, Va., and Richmond.

The tribe, which is also moving toward full approval of a casino and resort in Norfolk, says this project will attract 4 million annual visitors and create more than 1,500 permanent full-time jobs, in addition to more than 1,000 construction jobs. The resort and casino would be located on 36 acres in South Richmond along Ingram Avenue near Commerce Road, on three adjacent land parcels.

The tribe also has secured a 13-acre property which would be used to build a workforce training facility. Ultimately, that property will have a different use once the resort opens, such as a grocery store or health clinic to benefit the community, the tribe says.

The resort will include a four-diamond hotel tower with a spa, pool, fitness center and several restaurants, as well as a 1,000-space parking garage.

Read the full story here.

CoStar to expand operations in Richmond, adding 2,000 jobs

Mayor Levar Stoney announced a series of enhancements made to the Navy Hill project agreement, including the intention of CoStar to bring 2,000 well-paying jobs to the neighborhood.

“This interest from a NASDAQ 100 company that already has a strong presence in our city shows that with Navy Hill, Richmond can increase our tax base and bring new jobs downtown,” said Mayor Stoney. “Richmond can be competitive.”

CoStar announced in 2016 that it would headquarter its primary operations center in Richmond. The compact has infused more than $250 million into the local economy from its riverfront location at 501 South 5th Street. The company employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide.

“The Navy Hill development delivers everything a company like CoStar is looking for – access to transit, entertainment, conferencing, and new multi-family residential housing, all in a walkable and vibrant neighborhood,” said Andrew Florance, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoStar Group. “Without the Navy Hill development as a complete-package option – we would not be talking about significantly expanding our commitment to the city of Richmond, a place where we already employ nearly 1,000 people. Richmond has so much to offer, which is why we would like to keep growing with it, providing competitive careers and compensation for residents in the process.

“Our employees have investigative, insightful minds and they think long-term. We do too. With Navy Hill, we’re able to plan not only for the growth that the company will experience in the near term – but also what the company can do 10 years from now. We’re eager to see this proposal move forward, and even more excited to potentially deepen our commitment to Richmond.”

Read the full story here.

Dominion chooses turbine supplier for $7.8b offshore wind farm

Richmond-based Dominion Energy has chosen Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy S.A. to supply 600-foot-tall turbines for its proposed $7.8 billion wind farm off the coast of Virginia. Dominion aims to complete the 220-turbine wind farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach by 2026.

This wind farm would be the largest in the nation and is part of Dominion’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 55% over the next decade and 80% by 2050. If successful the project would produce enough zero-carbon electricity to power 650,000 Virginia homes.

Read the full story here



Tympanogen awarded $250,000 contract from the Department of Defense

RICHMOND – Tympanogen, a medical device startup based in Richmond, Va., was awarded nearly $250,000 as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the Department of Defense (DOD). This Phase I award will support safety testing of Tympanogen’s gel patch for eardrum repair. This gel patch is intended to be used in field settings and will treat service members sustaining perforated eardrums, one of the most common blast injuries.

“We are excited to work with the DOD to develop our eardrum repair gel for field use,” said Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney, Co-Founder and CEO of Tympanogen and the Principal Investigator for the award. “Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities faced by veterans. By making eardrum repair faster, easier, and more accessible at the time of injury, we can prevent the complications that lead to this disability for tens of thousands of service members.”

Tympanogen is located in the Biotech Park in downtown Richmond and is on a mission to simplify surgical procedures using their innovative gel technology.

Speaking about the award, Carrie Roth, President & CEO, Activation Capital and VA Bio+Tech Park said, “Dr. Horn-Ranney and her team are making groundbreaking developments in their labs and the work they are doing will have life changing impacts on patients. The grant from the Department of Defense is yet another acknowledgement of the innovative activities happening at Tympanogen.”

This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Development Command/DOD Hearing Center of Excellence under Purchase Order No. W81XWH20P0013. The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation.

About Tympanogen:
Tympanogen, Inc. develops innovative ear, nose, and throat devices based on our proprietary gel technology. Their lead product, Perf-Fix, will transform traditional tympanoplasty procedures into a quick office visit.

Tympanogen was founded in 2014 by a dynamic and energetic team of engineers and physicians dedicated to simplifying medical procedures and reducing healthcare costs. The company operates out of the VA Bio+Tech Park in Richmond, Va.

About Activation Capital:
Activation Capital engages and connects the many influential players in our innovation ecosystem, and strives to give startup founders access to the tools and resources they need to navigate the entrepreneurial process. The Activation Council supports and coordinates these efforts among the many available resources to foster innovation in companies of all kinds. Activation Council brings clarity and perspective in the short term and vision for the long term that generates more collision points that lead to successful business outcomes. Our goal is for the region to become known as a hub for all things innovative and as an environment where entrepreneurs and innovative companies thrive. We want the Activation Capital to be known as the place where any person with an idea can come to find resources needed to take an idea from start to phenomenal.

The VA Bio+Tech Park is a vibrant, life sciences community located adjacent to the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center on a 34-acre campus in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Since its creation, the Park has supported nearly 160 private and non-profit companies, state and federal laboratories, and research institutes/administrative functions of VCU and VCU Health, employing approximately 2,400 researchers, scientists, engineers and support personnel. Major member organizations in the park include the VCU Innovation Gateway and VCU Ventures, the Altria Center for Research and Technology, United Network for Organ Sharing, True Health Diagnostics and the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. The Park also has developed partnerships with neighboring Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico Counties to extend its reach.