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Georgia's Top 100 Public Companies

Georgia’s economy continues to zoom forward with new companies announcing moves to the state almost daily, and Georgia’s top businesses are not getting left out of the charge ahead. In all, this year’s top 100 companies saw an increase in revenue of more than $30 billion from 2013. 

According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, a total of 20 Fortune 500 companies have their global headquarters in Georgia. Of those 20, only one – First Data – is a private company; the rest are represented in this list. Thirty-three of the Fortune 1000 call Georgia home.

For the second year in a row, Georgia is the No. 1 state in the country for business according to the national economic development magazine Site Selection, and four companies new to this year’s list would agree.

In 2014, Norcross-based Unisource Worldwide and Loveland, Ohio-based xpedx merged to form packaging company Veritiv Corp. At the end of last year, Veritiv Corp. announced it would be moving its headquarters to Sandy Springs.

Last summer, PulteGroup Inc., one of the largest homebuilding companies in the United States, moved its headquarters from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to Atlanta. The company stated it wanted to be closer to its customers and a large portion of its investment portfolio as reasons for the move.

Halyard Health decided to stay in Georgia. Formerly known as Kimberly-Clark Health Care, the medical products business spun off from its parent company last summer and established its headquarters in Roswell, just a stone’s throw away from Dallas, Texas-based Kimberly-Clark’s Alpharetta outpost. Company officials said the “risk of losing top talent was too great” for the company to leave the state.

In early 2014, Atlanta-based American CareSource Holdings Inc. acquired Correct-Med, which operated several urgent care centers in the Atlanta metro area. That acquisition marked the healthcare company’s entrance into the fast-growing, $14.5-billion urgent care centers subsector and also boosted it into the state’s top 100, entering at #97.

Halyard Health and American CareSource are just two of the 400 life sciences companies that call Georgia home. With a strong biotech presence, solid medical and research colleges and a robust telecommunications infrastructure, the state continues to solidify its reputation as a hub for healthcare, health IT and bioscience companies. In all, 11 companies on this year’s list fall into those categories.

As for the four that left the Top 100, three were acquired and one, battery manufacturer Exide Technologies, filed for bankruptcy. Gentiva Health Services Inc. was sold to Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred Healthcare Inc. CBeyond was acquired by Atlanta-based Birch Communications, a privately held company that provides business-focused communications, cloud and managed services.

Georgia-Carolina Bancshares and its subsidiary, First Bank of Georgia, was ac-quired by Atlanta-based State Bank Financial Corp., #77 on this year’s list. The $82-million merger was the largest whole bank transaction in Georgia since 2007.

How did the Top 10 change? Not much. SunTrust scooted down from #10 last year to #11, and HD Supply Holdings cracked the Top 10. Rock-Tenn and AGCO Corp. switched places. (Rock-Tenn merged in July 2015 with Virginia-based Mead-Westvaco Corp. and was renamed WestRock Co.) Otherwise the top 10 stayed the same.

Georgia Trend’s 2015 list of Georgia’s Top 100 Public Companies is determined by S&P Capital IQ, a partner of McGraw Hill Financial, and is based on data supplied for 2014. – Christy Simo

Click here to see our 2015 Top 100 Public Companies feature.

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