It wasn’t immediately clear how that designation would affect employment at the Indianapolis headquarters of Dow AgroSciences, Dow Chemical’s ag division, which employs 1,500, many of them highly paid executives and researchers.
However, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said in a written statement that “with the establishment of this global business center, long-term revenue and commensurate employment are expected to grow in Indianapolis.”
Dow and DuPont said Wilmington will be home base for the CEO and “key corporate support functions” while Indianapolis and the other global business center—Johnston, Iowa—will be home to the leaders of business lines, R&D, the global supply chain, sales and marketing.
Economic development officials in states across the country have been frenetically negotiating with Midland, Michigan-based Dow and Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont since the companies on Dec. 11 announced a historic merger of equals. Their merger is the first step in a plan to break apart into three publicly traded businesses, one of them focused on agricultural products, including herbicides and genetically modified seeds. That new, as-yet-unnamed business will be largest global player in crop protection and seeds.
Business observers had speculated it would be an uphill battle for Indianapolis to land the headquarters because DuPont’s ag business is significantly larger than Dow’s. The headquarters of DuPont’s Pioneer ag business is in the Des Moines, Iowa, suburb of Johnston.
Gov. Mike Pence called the announcement good news, saying in a statement that "Hoosiers can be assured our state will continue to play a leading role in the future of this exciting new company."
Dow AgroSciences CEO Tim Hassinger said Indianapolis' designation as a global business center ensures that the new company “maintains a strong focus on agricultural R&D innovation in Indiana and near our customers.”
DuPont’s ag business has about $11 billion in annual sales and employs 12,000 workers, while Dow Agro has $7 billion in sales and employs about 9,000.
Dow and DuPont officials said in December they plan to squeeze out $1.3 billion in cost savings from merging the ag units, but they have not estimated how many layoffs will occur.
“The city and the state have been very aggressive with incentives, and they will be performance-based,” he said.