NEWS

Evergreen Packaging seeks Memphis tax break in competition for headquarters

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016

Evergreen Packaging Inc., a leading manufacturer of milk and juice cartons, is seeking a PILOT tax break in Memphis as it considers whether to make Memphis its headquarters for a consolidated $5 billion company.

At stake is whether 70 jobs with an annual average wage of more than $176,000 are added to Evergreen's headquarters in Memphis, joining 103 currently there, to make it the global headquarters for a consolidated organization called Nuco, company officials reported in an application for a PILOT with the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County.

Evergreen's "strategic owner," New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart, has decided to consolidate the Memphis corporate headquarters with two sister companies, Indianapolis-based Closure Systems International and York-based Graham Packaging Co.

Memphis is competing with York, Pennsylvania; Lake Forest, Illinois, Charlotte and Indianapolis for the global headquarters, the company reports.

The combined Nuco organization will  include 127 manufacturing facilities in 36 countries with more than 14,000 employees and $5 billion in annual revenue, the firm reported.

The company has hired Cushman & Wakefield to help select a site and negotiate incentives "to address access to talent, strong air access, cost containment and future growth," Evergreen officials wrote in the request for a PILOT.

Currently headquartered at 5350 Poplar, suite 600, Evergreen said it would add to a workforce that includes 42 management jobs with average base pay of $164,424 and 59 support jobs averaging $79,805, not including benefits.

The 70 new jobs would include 40 in management with average annual base pay of $235,707 and 28 support positions averaging $100,000.

The company is promising a capital investment of about $3.8 million, but asking for a ramp-up period of three, rather than two, years. It also wants the flexibility to move or grow in other locations and to have all square footage it occupies, rather than only added footage, count towards the tax break calculation.

EDGE calculates that a 15-year tax break would save the firm a total of nearly $1.2 million in property tax-related payments to Memphis and Shelby County. Total taxes of all kinds created would reach more than $7.1 million, with a benefit of $6.12 for every $1 in tax breaks, officials estimate.

With roots dating back to International Paper Co.'s entry into the beverage packaging business in 1946, Evergreen was established in 2007 when IP spun off the beverage business that includes a mill in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Bloomberg reported in 2007 that  Hart, a former tow truck driver, was assembling a global food packaging empire.

Evergreen received a PILOT from Memphis and Shelby County in 2007, which expired and placed the company back on the tax rolls by 2014, according to county property records.

The EDGE board is scheduled to consider PILOT proposals on Wednesday, beginning at 3:10 p.m., at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, 6393 Poplar.

 

Source : commercialappeal.com

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