Deerfield, IL-based healthcare company Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) and the State of Minnesota are close to finalizing what could be a $300 million biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant project in Brooklyn Park, MN.
The company has already purchased the shuttered Genmab facility in Brooklyn Park for $10 million, and plans to spend another $60 million to make improvements to the plant’s cell-culture manufacturing capabilities.
This initial phase would create 190 new jobs with average annual wages of $75,000. In the second phase, Baxter would expand the existing 215,000-square-foot facility.
This expansion would require a $100 investment for construction and another $150 million for equipment purchase, and the company is holding back on this investment decision because they want incentives for the expansion.
Without naming the company, Gov. Mark Dayton said the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) had been working on this project for months.
Their efforts seem to have paid off, because State Representatives Melissa Hortman and Ann Lenczewski introduced legislation (HF 1781) yesterday that amends Minnesota statutes to offer an unnamed biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility sales and use tax exemptions.
All this was done without the company’s name being disclosed to even the lawmakers, except under the code name of “Project Fern.”
The bill approving sales tax exemptions for construction material and equipment purchase was included in and pushed through at a hearing on Tuesday as part of the House Omnibus tax bill. The company will also be provided a $5 million forgivable loan.
At the local level, Brooklyn Park is offering about $1.5 million in property tax abatements. It works out to $4,000 to $8,000 in property tax rebates per new job created for the next ten years.
In the U.S., Baxter has around 19,000 employees across 80 facilities, which includes 13 manufacturing plants.
Their global headquarters and other locations in Illinois have more than 5,400 employees, with additional operations in Arkansas (800 employees), California (2,800), Florida (400), Indiana (1,000), Mississippi (650) and North Carolina (1,900).
Baxter has 50,800 employees around the world, and generated 2012 sales of $14.2 billion, of which $6.2 billion was in biosciences.