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2/19/2016
Weiner: "Retaining 2 of three DuPont spin off corporate headquarters & the associated high paying jobs is great news; but the news is tempered by our sadness for our many neighbors who lost their jobs."

County council member Bob Weiner, Second District, said that while retaining two of three DuPont spin off corporate headquarters high paying jobs is great news, it is tempered by sadness for the many residents who have lost their jobs. "Local and state and federal government officials, in collaboration with our private sector partners, must continue to be relentless in fostering innovative job creation, in order to both retain and increase New Castle County’s employment base," Weiner said. "Our quality of life is dependent upon our being nimble and innovative."

DuPont and Dow choose Wilmington for ag products headquarters after merger

The headquarters will include the executive offices and key corporate support functions, according to a press release from Gov. Jack Markell's office.

By Hockessin Community News Staff Reports Posted Feb. 19, 2016 @ 11:23 am

DuPont and Dow announced today that Wilmington will be the location for the headquarters of the agriculture company they intend to create after the completion of their proposed merger.

The headquarters will include the CEO's office and key corporate support functions, according to a press release from Gov. Jack Markell's office.

In December, DuPont and Dow announced that Delaware would be the headquarters for the specialty products business that would be established after the merger.

Today’s decision means that the headquarters of two out of the three companies being created as a result of the planned separations following the merger of Dow and DuPont will be located in Delaware. The total combined revenue of the agriculture and specialty products businesses will be greater than the revenue of DuPont today, according to the press release.

“This announcement is a win for Delaware,” said Markell. “This decision would not have happened had it not been for the dedication and hard work put in by Senators Coons and Carper, Congressman Carney, leadership from both parties in the General Assembly, New Castle County Executive Gordon and members of County Council, and leaders at our state educational institutions. I also want to thank DuPont CEO Ed Breen, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, and Jim Collins, the Executive Vice President of DuPont’s Agriculture unit, for their dedication to this issue.”

DuPont spokesman Dan Turner said that the company expects to utilize the existing Chestnut Run location in Wilmington for the new spinoff, and that DuPont would be working closely with Dow on the integration planning in the coming months.

“There are more decisions that need to be made moving forward, within the relevant regulatory boundaries, to stand up the intended Ag company – and we are committed to approaching each decision with the same level of care and analysis,” Turner said.

He added that Friday’s announcement creates an “efficient, effective structure that takes full advantage of the unique expertise and resources that exist in each location,” enabling the newly merged company to deliver “long-term opportunity” for the global agriculture company they hope to create.

The number of employment opportunities offered by the future independent agriculture company will evolve over the next two or more years, as the integration process advances and the new public company is stood up, Turner said.

Turner said that the decision to locate the intended ag company, and the specialty products company headquarters in Delaware, leverages the existing corporate infrastructure and expertise they currently have in the state.

“Further, our 213-year history and deep relationship in Delaware creates a unique business environment for DuPont,” he said.

Markell said a major element of the state’s pitch to the companies on why they should locate the headquarters of the agriculture business in Delaware was the availability of top-level talent from local universities, such as the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, both of which have had over a 100-year relationship with DuPont.

As part of the agreement, the governor has committed to work to pass reforms to Delaware’s tax code. These reforms will include a modification of the state’s research and development tax credit to lift yearly expenditure caps and make the credit refundable, as well as the reintroduction of a modernized version of Delaware’s “New Economy Jobs Tax Credit,” intended to attract corporate headquarters jobs to Delaware. The credit provides a value calculated against a portion of the total payroll of a company that contributes high paying jobs to the Delaware economy. Neither of these changes would impact budget projections for fiscal 2017.

Mark Turner, chairman of Delaware Business Roundtable, and Chip Rossi, chairman of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, released a joint statement about the companies' plan for the agricultural products headquarters:

“Today’s announcement that DuPont will be establishing the headquarters for its agriculture company in Wilmington is great news for Delaware. We are very excited that both the new agriculture and specialty products companies will be headquartered in Wilmington, following the planned separation of DowDuPont into three separate companies," said Turner and Rossi.

To help secure the agreement to locate the headquarters of the agriculture business in the state, the Delaware Economic Development Office agreed to submit a Strategic Fund grant to the Council on Development Finance that could be worth a total of $9.6 million over five years. Most of this is in the form of matching funds capital expenditure assistance, which will help the company and related spinoffs upgrade research facilities in Delaware. To achieve the full amount, they would need to spend at least $200 million in the state on those types of projects over the five-year time frame.

The news of the headquarters location was welcomed by leadership of the General Assembly.

“For generations, DuPont has been central to the fabric of Delaware's economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere, in a press release. “I was happy to learn of the company's decision to locate its Agriculture headquarters here, and I'm optimistic this decision, combined with its decision on the Specialty Products business, signals DuPont's long-term commitment to the state it has always called home.”

“This is a coup,” said State House Minority Whip Deborah Hudson, R-Fairthorne, in northern New Castle County. “We could have easily lost this headquarters to a Midwest farm state. I am glad Dow-Dupont’s leaders saw the wisdom of moving forward in Delaware, capitalizing on the intellectual and managerial assets that are already here, and recognizing the value of our strategic location.”

Members of the Delaware Senate Republican Caucus also applauded the decision to use Delaware as the headquarters for the spinoff.

"It is welcome news that DuPont will headquarter their Agriculture business spinoff in Delaware,” said Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle. “Given the impact of recent decisions to reduce employment, I’m certain that many families are relieved to learn of this decision. As DuPont transforms itself to remain viable and competitive in a global market, Delaware must do that as well and I’ll look forward to working with the Governor, legislative leadership, and members of the General Assembly to modify our tax code in an effort to keep and attract businesses to Delaware.”

New Castle County officials were also glad to learn of the decision.

“Today’s announcement is good news for the state of Delaware and for New Castle County,” said County Executive Tom Gordon. “Many of the residents of the county are employed by the company, and I hope that this decision brings a bit of certainty to some of the families who have been unsure what the future looked like.”

Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, Third District, said she was extremely happy with the decision, as it is important to the economic health of the county to continue to evolve and ultimately grow.

"The immediate impact and ultimate trickle down effect of losing DuPont has the potential to be devastating and any lessening of those effects is welcome," she said.

County council member Bob Weiner, Second District, said that while retaining two of three corporate headquarter high paying jobs is great news, it is tempered by sadness for the many residents who have lost their jobs.

"Local and state and federal government officials, in collaboration with our private sector partners, must continue to be relentless in fostering innovative job creation, in order to both retain and increase New Castle County’s employment base," Weiner said. "Our quality of life is dependent upon our being nimble and innovative."

DuPont and Dow hope to secure shareholder and federal government approval of their proposed merger by the end of 2016. Once approval is completed, they hope to complete the separation of the three new companies within the next two years.

 

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