Comings and goings: A look back at the year in Minnesota business

  • Updated: May 24, 2014 - 2:00 PM

A look back at the year in Minnesota business by Patrick Kennedy


Supervalu’s deal to sell its Albertsons and other grocery stores last June had a big impact on the overall fortunes of the Star Tribune 100. The sale nearly halved Supervalu sales in one year and carved out nearly 90,000 employees. Albertsons’ new parent, Cerberus Capital Management, already has a deal to acquire rival grocery company Safeway.

A similar strategy to acquire and merge different brands to achieve instant scale was already underway in the coffeehouse industry last year when Caribou Coffee Co. was acquired by Joh. A Benckiser Group for $306 million. The deal closed in January 2013. Benckiser earlier had acquired the Peet’s Coffee & Tea business. Benckiser converted some of the Caribou Coffee outlets on the East Coast to Peet’s but will keep the Caribou brand in Caribou’s strongest Midwest markets.

Edina-based Nash Finch Co. (No. 16 on last year’s list) was sold to Spartan Stores Inc. on July 22, 2013, for about $700 million. The company’s new name: SpartanNash. It is headquartered in East Grand Rapids, Mich.

MakeMusic, an Eden Prairie-based maker of music notation and teaching software that was ranked No. 91 last year, was acquired by LaunchEquity on May 1, 2013, for $4.85 per share or approximately $17.9 million.

Analysts International, ranked No. 64 last year, was acquired by American CyberSystems of Duluth, Ga., on Aug. 28 for $35 million.

Multiband Corp., a provider of voice, data and video systems and services to business and government clients that ranked No. 52 last year, was acquired by Goodman Networks Inc. of Plano, Texas, for about $103 million on Aug. 31, 2013.

New Jersey-based C.R. Bard, a maker of medical and surgical devices, acquired two Minnesota companies last year. In August Bard acquired privately held Medafor, based in Brooklyn Center, for approximately $280 million and later agreed to acquire publicly held Rochester Medical for approximately $262 million on Sept. 5.

We generally adhere to the rule that a company must be headquartered in Minnesota to be included on the Star Tribune 100. But we make exceptions in the case of No. 15 Pentair and No. 43 Stratasys, whose management headquarters are in Minnesota but whose legal headquarters are in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and Rehovot, Israel, respectively.

IPOs and Additions

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  • Kit Lau, a senior scientist at BioAmber, worked on a project at the company, Thursday, August 4, 2011 in Plymouth, MN. The Plymouth-based company raised $45 million in the second quarter.] (ELIZABETH FLORES/STAR TRIBUNE) ELIZABETH FLORES •

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