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Local Data

Location & Expansion Log

Diverse companies – from startups to multinational corporations – continue to relocate and expand existing operations in the Charleston region.

Archive:    2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995

New, Expanding, and Mergers & Acquisitions

Blue Acorn iCi

October 15, 2020


Investment: $125 Million

E-commerce and digital services

The ownership of a technology business that was launched in Charleston more than a decade ago is changing hands in a deal valued up to $125 million. Blue Acorn, which was founded in 2008, became Blue Acorn iCi after merging with another firm last year. The company started out in e-commerce, later adding other digital services to its tech repertoire, and has expanded to multiple offices nationwide, including its headquarters in Charleston. In announcing the sale, Blue Acorn iCi said it employed about 300 workers as of late 2019. The buyer is Infosys Limited, a publicly traded company that is based in India and specializes in digital services and consulting. According to a document Infosys recently filed with stock market regulators, Blue Acorn iCi’s annual revenue has increased 28 percent since 2017 to $43.6 million in 2019. Infosys says it plans to keep Blue Acorn iCi's management intact.

The Boeing Company

October 1, 2020

787 Aircraft manufacturing

The Boeing Co. has confirmed it will consolidate production of its 787 Dreamliner jet in South Carolina, closing the 787 production line in Everett, Washington. The Everett facility has been splitting 787 final assembly operations with Boeing’s plant in North Charleston. The consolidation will begin in mid-2021, the company said. Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said that moving all 787 assembly to South Carolina would make them “more competitive and efficient” and better able to “weather these challenging times and win new business.” There are about 900 employees right now in the Everett / Puget Sound region who work on the 787 program, but decisions about staffing changes “will be developed and evaluated in the next few months in conjunction with the overall transition plan,” Boeing officials announced. The airline industry is feeling the negative effects of a global pandemic but has projected a brighter future once an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is widely available.

Daye North America

September 24, 2020

Jobs: 16
Investment: $1.8 Million

Outdoor power equipment distribution

A subsidiary of Ningbo Daye Garden Machinery Company headquartered in China, Daye North America is an industry leader in the development of outdoor power equipment, including gas-powered and battery-powered lawn mowers, string trimmers, blowers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, lawn tractors and zero turn radius riding mowers. Located at the Ladson Industrial Park off Highway 78 in North Charleston, Daye North America's new facility will increase the company's capacity to meet growing demand for its lawnmowers and power equipment and serve local, regional and national retailers.

Driverge Vehicle Innovations, LLC

September 17, 2020

Jobs: 13
Investment: $0.35 Million

Manufacture and distribution of commercial shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vans, transporters and small buses

With multiple locations nationwide, Driverge builds and ships commercial shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vans, transporters and small buses throughout North America. The company provides vehicle conversions for healthcare companies, fleet management, hotel corporations, taxis, wheelchair transport services and many other markets. Located at 9004-S Sightline Drive in North Charleston, Driverge’s expansion will increase camper van production. "Our commitment to Charleston is the result of a talented local workforce and the enterprising government support for the automotive industry,” remarked Driverge President Mark Minatel.

Juliska

September 15, 2020

Jobs: 51
Investment: $1.9 Million

Headquarters, import and wholesale distribution, design studio and retail outlet for high-end dinnerware and home decor

Founded in 2001 by husband and wife David and Capucine Gooding, the firm will invest $1.9 million in offices, a distribution center, a design studio and an outlet store for local sales. The company is moving from Stamford, Conn., to its new location at 7991 Palmetto Commerce Blvd in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston. The company owners said they have been visiting Charleston for years “and always dreamed of one day relocating our company here...[because] the historic architecture, natural beauty, growing business community and abundant sense of ‘family’ here are the perfect fit with our European heritage and brand values.” Also, Juliska imports its products through the Port of Charleston.

Lineage Logistics

September 8, 2020

Jobs: 36
Investment: $34 Million

Temperature-controlled logistics solutions

Lineage Logistics is one of the world’s largest refrigerated warehousing companies with more than 300 facilities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. “Charleston has it all “ first-rate infrastructure, great access, a top ranked port and a skilled workforce. South Carolina’s numerous business advantages, in addition to the booming market, have helped Lineage to better service our export and import customers, as well as our domestic shipping partners. We are thrilled to expand our existing operations in what we believe is the right location at the right time.” -President and CEO of Lineage Logistics Greg Lehmkuhl. The expansion is expected to be completed by February 2021.

Cantey Tech Consulting

September 1, 2020

Jobs: 25

IT hosting services, server management, data security and consulting services

The firm states that this growth --expected to be completed by 2023-- will enable the company to aggressively expand into the medical, legal, business and education sectors. “Our headquarters and primary office will always be here in Charleston County. It’s a great place to work and grow our business. Most importantly, Charleston is a big draw for technical talent and, in our IT support and consulting business, people are everything,” says Cantey Tech Consulting CEO Willis Cantey.

EnviroMix

August 18, 2020

Technology for municipal water and wastewater treatment, industrial wastewater treatment, water storage tanks, and industrial process mixing

GEF Capital Partners announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in Charleston-based EnviroMix, Inc. EnviroMix offers innovative water and wastewater solutions to municipal and industrial markets through its proprietary mixing and process control technologies. By focusing on enhanced nutrient removal, reductions in energy use, and operational cost savings, EnviroMix provides water and wastewater customers with numerous economic and environmental benefits. In conjunction with the transaction, EnviroMix's management team is retaining a significant interest in the company.

Braskem & Frontier Logistics

July 24, 2020

Jobs: 60

Global Export Hub providing packaging, warehousing and export shipping services

The new Global Export Hub (expected completion by the third quarter of 2020) will have capacity to support export shipments of up to 450 million pounds (204 Kilotons) of polypropylene and specialty polymers annually to Braskem customers worldwide. Braskem is partnering with the Port of Charleston and warehouse provider Frontier Logistics, which will construct, lease and provide services to Braskem under a five-year agreement at the 550,000 sq. ft. McMillan Road facility in North Charleston. "With excellent access to national rail and highway networks, this important new logistics and distribution facility in the South Carolina port region significantly enhances Braskem America's international export capability," said Braskem America CEO Mark Nikolich. Philadelphia-based Braskem is a multinational firm and is the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world.

Walmart Distribution Center

July 20, 2020

Jobs: 1000
Investment: $220 Million

Direct import distribution center

Once completed, the new storage and cross-dock facility will span nearly three million square feet and be served by the Port of Charleston. This direct import distribution center, which will take approximately 14 months to build, will supply several regional distribution centers supporting approximately 850 Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs across South Carolina and beyond. "At a time when job creation is so vital, and --more than ever-- our customers are relying on Walmart for the essentials they need during this unprecedented time, we are excited about the impact this new facility will have on the regional economy and how it will help us better serve customers across the Southeast," said Walmart Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Greg Smith.

Holy City Linen

June 24, 2020

Jobs: 254
Investment: $12.4 Million

Commercial laundry services

Founded in 2016 in Mount Pleasant, Holy City Linen provides a quality, eco-friendly commercial laundry service throughout the Charleston area. Opening a second facility at 1275 Remount Road in North Charleston, Holy City Linen's expansion will allow the company to increase capacity to meet growing demand in the medical and hospitality industries.

Lowcountry Kettle

June 23, 2020

Jobs: 24

Snack food manufacturing

Founded in 2016, Lowcountry Kettle uses local Bulls Bay salts to create a variety of kettle cooked potato chip flavors, including Bloody Mary, Mustard BBQ Sauce, Spicy Pimento Cheese and State Fair Fried Pickle. Located at 4447 Dorchester Road in North Charleston, Lowcountry Kettle's expansion will enable growth into other regions of the state and the Southeast, along with the addition of two new flavors - Bulls Bay Sea Salt and Carolina Reaper - to the company's product line. The expansion is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.

Arkonik

June 17, 2020

Jobs: 10

Custom-build Land Rover Defenders

Established in 2006 and headquartered in Bath, England, of the United Kingdom, Arkonik Ltd., specializes in the restoration and customization of Land Rover Defenders for customers all over the world. Arkonik anticipates steady growth potential for its new Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) location in the City of Charleston in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Arkonik SVO will serve as the company’s flagship operation for engine and transmission upgrades and provide a physical presence in North America where clients can test drive the vehicles, meet the team, and discuss their custom options face to face. An electric vehicle platform is planned for 2021. Charleston’s highly-skilled workforce, business-friendly climate, and globally-connected infrastructure like the Port of Charleston, influenced the company’s decision to locate here to better serve its customers.

Vendr

June 10, 2020


Investment: $4 Million

SaaS (software as a service)

In 2019, Boston based,Vendr, announced they were expanding to Charleston, South Carolina. Today, the company, which has their Charleston office at Flaghip-WestEdge, announced they raised $4 million on top of $2 million raised in September 2019. Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/06/10/vendr-raises-4m-from-david-sackss-craft-ventures-to-reduce-saas-bills/

Kontane Logistics

May 27, 2020

Jobs: 30

Tire and wheel assembly

The Kontane Logistics Inc. facility at 830 Drop Off Drive, just off Interstate 26, will employ 30 workers and support the Volvo plant in nearby Ridgeville which builds S60 sedans. It’s the second automotive-related announcement in recent months for Kontane, according to Rusty Byrd, chief operations officer, who said in October the firm will also provide “just in time” parts delivery for the Mercedes-Benz Vans plant in North Charleston. Kontane’s headquarters is at a warehouse and distribution center on Charleston Regional Parkway, and the company has facilities in North Carolina, Alabama and Texas.

Arcadia Publishing

May 11, 2020

Publisher

Mount Pleasant-based Arcadia Publishing has acquired a New Orleans book publisher, River Road Press. Arcadia has been on an acquisition streak: In 2019, the company also purchased Wildsam, a guidebook publisher based in Austin, Texas, and another Louisiana-based firm, Pelican Publishing. Arcadia’s books can be found nationally in specialty and chain retailers, as its niche is historic content.

Charleston Stevedoring Company LLC (CSC)

May 6, 2020

Container terminal and stevedoring services

Marine Terminals Corporation East (Ports America), Ceres Marine Terminals Inc. (Ceres), and SSA Atlantic LLC (SSA) are pleased to announce they have formed a joint venture company to provide container terminal and stevedoring services in the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. “The new entity will provide significant benefits to the Port of Charleston, including improved container terminal services through the consolidated operations at all berths, as well as more efficient vessel turn times and improved equipment utilization,” CSC President Dan Hall said. “The combined company will optimize use of terminal capacity and improve integration between terminal, vessel and gate operations.” Ports America is a U.S. terminal operator and stevedore, with operations in every major port in the nation. Ceres is a transportation service provider, with stevedoring and terminal operations across multiple cargo types and operations in many of North America’s key ports. SSA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Carrix Inc., is a marine and rail terminal operator in the Americas and internationally. The new joint venture becomes operational May 4, 2020.

Moneypenny

March 17, 2020

North American Headquarters; Answering services and outsourced switchboards for small and large businesses

Moneypenny, with a Charleston-based North American headquarters and a UK-based world headquarters, has extended its services in the US with the acquisition of VoiceNation and Ninja Number. The details of the transaction have not been disclosed. VoiceNation is an award-winning bilingual telephone answering provider and Ninja Number is a cutting-edge business phone app that provides a virtual phone system for entrepreneurs. Both companies were co-founded by Jay Reeder and Graham Taylor in 2002 and are based in Atlanta, Georgia. Moneypenny works with businesses of all shapes and sizes, from sole traders to multinational corporations and has over 750 staff based in the UK and Charleston, USA. The company was founded in 2000 and currently handles over 15 million calls and live chats for 13,000 businesses.

PRC Laser

March 5, 2020

Jobs: 73
Investment: $1.4 Million

Design and manufacture of fiber laser cutting machines for OEM machine builders

Founded in 1985, PRC Laser Corporation supplies original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with proven industrial lasers that offer cost-effective and efficient technology. Additionally, the company supplies end users with unique lasers for special purpose applications. Located at 4279 K Crosspoint Drive in North Charleston, PRC Laser Corporation’s new location will allow the company to increase capacity and expand its assembly and testing operations. “PRC is very excited to join the many diverse global manufacturers locating to the Charleston area. Our state-of-the-art industrial laser products, global service network and U.S.-based manufacturing combine to create many growth opportunities for customers and employees. We look forward to helping make the S.C. Lowcountry a hub for industrial laser products for both the North American and global markets,” said PRC Laser Corporation President Walter Wilson.

Palmetto Clean Technology Inc.

February 17, 2020


Investment: $25 Million

Technology company that works with customers directly and with companies that sell solar panel and energy storage systems to demonstrate utility savings with alternative energy use

One of Charleston’s most mature startup companies, Palmetto Clean Technology Inc., closed another round of funding in early 2020 and marked its 10-year anniversary. CEO Chris Kemper described the company’s technology as a “utility savings platform” that roughly 4,000 small companies now use. The firm's technology can show homeowners how they can save money by installing solar, Kemper said, and also serves to help solar installation businesses with design tools, financing, logistics, customer relations and project management. Palmetto's headquarters is in Charleston, South Carolina, with additional offices in San Francisco, California, Sea Girt, New Jersey, Charlotte, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and Greenville, South Carolina.

Ceterus

January 18, 2020


Investment: $9.1 Million

Accounting software

A Charleston accounting software firm has raised another $9.1 million to finance its growth, solidifying the startup’s position as among the best-funded in the region’s technology industry. Located on Charleston’s upper peninsula, Ceterus develops web-based software and financial reporting tools. Founded in 2008, the firm has completed four major rounds of investments totaling more than $30 million. CEO Levi Morehouse said the latest financing will be invested in growth initiatives

Vendr

January 13, 2020

Software buying services: Centralized enterprise SaaS purchasing and renewals management

Boston-based Vendr provides expert SaaS buyers to growth-oriented client companies like HubSpot, DraftKings, CarGurus, Grammarly and InVision so firms can focus on their core business. College of Charleston alumnus Ryan Neu founded the firm in 2018 in Boston and has tasked fellow CofC alumnus and the firm's Head of Vendor Management, Jeff Swank, to lead the Charleston office. Swank says, "Having spent the past 15 years in Charleston, I’ve seen how much talent there is here, and the tech community is only getting bigger. We’re looking forward to being a part of it and building an anchor team here locally.” Vendr chose to house operations at the Flagship-WestEdge building in downtown Charleston.

TeamLogic IT

January 8, 2020

Jobs: 5

Managed IT services franchise with locations nationwide

“With the city’s recent influx of technology companies and the area’s ever-growing population, we couldn’t think of a better place than Charleston to open this branch of TeamLogic IT,” owner Denise Kaufman said in a news release. “We’re excited to tap in the region’s highly educated pool of workers while fulfilling a diverse array of area businesses’ IT needs.” TeamLogic provides support to businesses that do not have an IT department and collaborates with the internal IT departments of companies that need additional support. It offers services such as business data backup, cybersecurity consulting and implementation, email hosting, disaster recovery and planning, and more. The Charleston office is planning to hire multiple technicians and administrative support staff.

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