A secret business capital

Yes, Sandy Springs is an honest-to-goodness city and has been for several years.

And, yes, Sandy Springs has its own ZIP codes designated by the Postal Service: 30328, 30342 and 30350. Residences and businesses within those ZIP codes are considered to be in the city of Sandy Springs. Mayor Eva Galambos, who spent more than two decades getting the city incorporated, wants all of them to claim Sandy Springs as home, but do they?

Of Georgia’s 130 largest public companies (ranked by their latest annual revenues), 16 have headquarter addresses within Sandy Springs, but all list Atlanta as their home city. Of Georgia’s 50 most valuable public companies, eight are based in Sandy Springs but claim Atlanta as home.

Among the 130 largest public companies, 11 of the top 50 are in Sandy Springs: United Parcel Service Inc. (No. 2 among Georgia public companies); Newell Rubbermaid Inc.; Mirant Corp.; Spectrum Brands Inc.; Beazer Homes USA Inc.; Mueller Water Products Inc.; Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc.; Global Payments Inc.; BWAY Holding Corp.; IntercontinentalExchange Inc.; and Haverty Furniture Cos. Inc.

Others among the top 130 are CompuCredit Corp., AFC Enterprises Inc., PermaFix Environmental Services Inc., Ebix Inc. and Middle Kingdom Alliance Corp.

The same names pop up among the state’s 50 most valuable public companies as ranked by market capitalization by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Those, in order, are UPS, IntercontinentalExchange, Global Payments, Newell Rubbermaid, Mirant, Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Mueller Water Products and BWAY Holding.

First Data Corp. moving back

First Data Corp., a global payments processing company, with offices in the Glenridge Highlands Two office building, 5565 Glenridge Connector in Sandy Springs, is moving its headquarters back here from Greenwood Village, Colo, where it has been located since 2001.

Last year it was reported that First Data was expanding its presence in Sandy Springs, when it leased 183,000 square feet in the 20-story Sandy Springs building at the Georgia 400 and the Glenridge Connector. At that time it was announced the company might add 250 jobs here by 2012.

First Data started occupying Glenridge Highlands Two early this year and executives are already there.