ADM, seeking global HQ, visits Minnesota -state official

Reuters

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co met with Minnesota officials to discuss moving the agriculturaltrading house's global headquarters to the state from Illinois,a Minnesota official said on Tuesday.

An ADM "site selection team" met with officials fromMinnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development inSt. Paul, Minnesota, on Monday, said Madeline Koch, director ofcommunications for the agency.

"We're just aggressively pursuing a deal," she said.

ADM, one of four companies that dominate the flow ofagricultural goods around the world, said on Sep. 23 that it wasconsidering locations for a new corporate headquarters thatwould improve access to transportation and help attractemployees. The company has had the largest corporate presence inthe central Illinois city of Decatur for the past 44 years.

ADM plans to move about 100 existing jobs to the newheadquarters, create a technology center there, and add about100 new jobs over several years. About 4,400 employees willcontinue to work in Decatur, which will become ADM's NorthAmerican headquarters.

Company executives have said they want to keep theheadquarters in Illinois, mostly likely in Chicago. Cityofficials have talked with ADM about a move, and Chicago'sO'Hare International Airport is considered a big draw.

However, ADM is keeping its options open, ChiefCommunications Officer Victoria Podesta said on Tuesday.

"We had said we would be talking with public officials andwe are," she said when asked about the Minnesota meeting. Shedeclined to elaborate.

To stay in Illinois, ADM has asked state lawmakers forlegislation that would allow the company to apply for income taxincentives worth about $1.2 million a year for the next 15 to 20years.

Some legislators have bristled at the idea of paying ADM tomove jobs from one part of Illinois to another. And IllinoisGov. Pat Quinn last week said he was opposed to giving ADM taxincentives until legislators address the state's pensionproblems.

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