Expansions, layoffs and acquisitions

Rausch & Pausch has announced plans for a new $18 million plant and North American headquarters in Auburn Technology Park West. Expected to employ about 100 workers, the auto supplier will make solenoid valves and control packs. The German company often goes by the nickname RAPA.

Daewon America has announced plans for a $16 million expansion in Opelika, adding about 30 employees to the coil spring line.

Magnet Paints and Shellac has announced plans for a new $2 million facility in West Point in Cullman County, the Cullman Times reports.

Atagi Water has been awarded a $300, 000 state community development grant to develop a 100-employee plant to bottle and distribute artesian well water at its Autaugaville site.

Outokumpu Oyj, new owner of the stainless steel plant at Calvert built by ThyssenKrupp, held a job fair in January, looking for approximately 150 new employees, the Mobile Press Register reported.

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Alexander City Mayor Charles Shaw says apparel maker Russell Brands told him it will lay off 190 employees in March, according to a report on al.com.

Publications face uncertainly, too. Trade paper Variety says that Time Inc., which owns Birmingham-based Southern Living, Coastal Living and more, plans to lay off 700 people. Variety blames the cuts on the company’s efforts to “transform famous titles and massive market share into a digital profit center.” And Birmingham’s weekly alternative paper, Black & White, is taking a publication break while it reviews options in a market that’s ever more digital, the Birmingham News reports.

Glasforms, based in Birmingham, is being acquired by PolyOne. The Birmingham plant, which makes advanced composite materials for telecommunications, defense and other high-tech industry, is expected to continue in operation.

Overhead crane maker DeShazo, based in Birmingham, has acquired the Decatur firm Global Systems LLC, which creates robotics and automated systems. Now called DeShazo Automation, the Global Systems’ operations will remain in Decatur.

ProAssurance has acquired Medmarc, adding the company’s line of medical technology and life science liability coverage to the ProAssurance portfolio.

Daxko, a Birmingham firm that creates software for community and medical agencies, has acquired Active Life Apps, a North Carolina-based app designer.

McKinney Capital, based in Birmingham, has acquired Grounds Unlimited, the third landscape firm it has acquired in two years, the Birmingham News reports.

Livingston-based Energy Services South has been acquired by Power Line Holdings Inc., which is based in Texas.

Nedra Bloom

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