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Week in Review: Serologicals sold to firm from Mass.

Another Gwinnett company is being wooed away.

Serologicals Corp., one of Gwinnett's largest bioscience businesses, will be sold to a Massachusetts company for $1.4 billion in cash.

The deal is expected to close June 30, pending Serologicals shareholder approval.

What the merger means for the future of the company in Gwinnett is unclear, but Chief Financial Officer Bud Ingalls said "it's very likely" Serologicals will become a key bioprocessing division for Millipore.

That means the Norcross-area company might keep its corporate headquarters building on Spalding Drive in Peachtree Corners. But Millipore headquarters will be up north.

The combined companies are projected to create $1.4 billion in annual revenues, employ about 5,800 workers and improve their ongoing research and development into new products.

The wrong kind of streak

Serologicals is the latest in a string of Atlanta-based companies to lose their local headquarters.

Scientific-Atlanta of Lawrenceville was purchased by San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc.; Atlanta-based BellSouth is being acquired by San Antonio-based AT&T; Wichita based Koch Industries is buying Georgia-Pacific.

Turn for the better

The jobless rate took a welcome turn.

Gwinnett's unemployment rate fell below 4 percent in March, as the state added nearly 21,000 jobs, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday.

Gwinnett's jobless rate of 3.8 percent dropped from 4.4 percent in February and from 4.5 percent a year ago.

There was an improving employment picture last month, with an additional 30,452 across the state finding work. Georgia also added 20,800 nonfarm jobs from February to March, and the state has gained 102,700 over the past 12-months.

Most of the job gains were in trade and service industries.

On the board

Rock-Tenn Co. said it posted solid earnings.

The Norcross company, maker of consumer packaging products, said its second-quarter profit increased to $5.2 million, or 14 cents per share. That's up from $200,000 in net income, or a penny a share, a year ago.

Earnings fell short of the 15-cent-per-share mark that analysts set.

Sales rose 34 percent to $529.7 million, from $394.4 million the year before.

E-mail Doug Sams at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com