In this edition of the Bulldog roundup of tech news: Durham’s Square 1 Bank the highest performing in the state; Raleigh 13, Durham 15 among best run cities; Advanced Aerospace Solutions named NASA Small Business Contractor of the Year; sPower takes equity position with FLS Energy; NC number two in solar installations; a second suitor for Salix.

Square 1 Bank named highest performing in NC

Durham-based Square 1 Bank is the highest performing in the state according to a ranking by Banker’s Caddy, a St. Louis company that tracks and evaluates banks according to several criteria, Lauren K. Ohnesorge reports at the Triangle Busienss Journal. The criteria include earnings, asset quality, capitalization, and growth and liquidity.

Square 1, which focuses on financing entrepreneurs, is set to be acquired by Los-Angeles based PacWest.

The state’s big banks, Bank of America and BB&T didn’t make the top ten.

For the top ten list and the rest of the story see:

Raleigh, Durham rank 13 and 15 respectively on top run cities list

Athough they didn’tt make the top ten, Raleigh and Durham both scored well on a list of the nation’s best run cities by WalletHub, a financial web site. Raleigh came in at number 13 and Durham at 15.

Lubbock, Texas was rated number one, followed by Philadelphia, PA, El Paso and Dallas Texas. For the full story see:

FLS Energy gets equity investment from sPower

sPower, a renewable energy provider, says it took an equity interest in three solar portfolios from FLS Energy, a full service solar energy provider in North Carolina.

“A key tenet in sPower’s management philosophy is seeking out partners and projects that drive growth in the solar industry,” sPower CEO, Ryan Creamer, commented. “FLS Energy is clearly amongst the most knowledgeable and successful solar energy companies on the east coast. We look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship.”

The portfolio, named sPower FLS North Carolina Solar 1, has 15-year PPAs with Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress.

Raleigh’s Advanced Aerospace Solutions wins NASA small business industry award

NASA says Advanced Aerospace Solutions of Raleigh was named Agency Small Business Subcontractor of the Year as part of its small business industry awards.

The company is working with NASA on a concept for aircraft operations called Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) Analysis and Development. This onboard automation tool will help compute route changes to improve flight efficiency while avoiding conflicts with hazards and other air traffic. Two airlines are pursuing formal agreements with NASA to implement TASAR in their regular operations.

North Carolina followed only California in new solar energy installations in the U.S. in 2014, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industry Association.

That’s a distant second place, however, with the NC installations only a tenth those of California. Still, it’s an indicator of a booming solar industry in the state.

See the full story by John Downey at the Greensboro Business Journal:

Salix gets a second bidder

Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP), which develops treatments for gastrointestinal disorders has another suitor: Irish pharma Endo International (Nasdaq: ENDP).

The Wall Street Journal reported that Wednesday, Endo sent a letter to Salix’s board offering between $170 and $175 per share in cash and Endo stock. This afternoon, Salix confirmed the offer in a news release.

It said that it has received an unsolicited proposal from Endo International to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company for a combination of 1.4607 shares of Endo common stock and $45.00 in cash per share of common stock of the company.

Valeant (Nasdaq: VRX) offered $158-per-share, which would amount to a $10.1 billion deal. Endo would have to pay a hefty fee to dislodge Valeant, however.