Friday, July 23, 2010

Styron to make HQ in Phila.-area

"Styron, a plastics business that Dow Chemical Co. spun off and sold, will locate its headquarters in the Philadelphia area, bringing with it 40 to 50 high-paying executive jobs. It’s now searching for a site.

Bain Capital Partners bought the business from Dow for $1.63 billion in a transaction that closed in June. Styron looked at several different states, said Catherine Maxey, a spokeswoman with the company. While Pennsylvania and Michigan were considered, she declined to list the other areas that were evaluated in its search. It did receive incentives from Pennsylvania to locate here but Maxey didn’t divulge them. A call to Pennsylvania’s Community and Economic Development wasn’t immediately returned.

One of the keys to its selecting the Philadelphia area was its international airport.

“Our executives travel a lot,” she said. “The ability to get from one place to another with ease is very important.”

The company also wanted a big enough city to attract and retain top talent for its executive-level positions. Quality of life and a region where it could have a variety of options to review were also important, Maxey said.

The company is looking at downtown Philadelphia as well as its suburbs, said Jeff Cutler, a broker with CB Richard Ellis in Michigan who is helping Styron with its search. The company will be seeking roughly 25,000 square feet.

“We are just at the beginning of putting options in front of them,” Cutler said.

One option will be the Dow (formerly Rohm and Haas) building overlooking Independence Mall, Maxey said, declining to name other buildings it might look at. The office markets in Center City and western suburbs, where vacancies are rising, will provide plenty of options in the 25,000-square-foot range for the company to consider.

The company hopes to make a decision on where it will lease office space for its headquarters in the next month or two and have the operation up and running by January, Maxey said. Most of the jobs will be new positions though a few Styron employees will be relocating from other offices.

Styron will maintain its North American operations center in Midland, Mich., where it has research and other operations. It will also continue to maintain other regional operations it has in Hong Kong, Brazil and Switzerland.

The company makes a range of plastic, latex and rubber products for industries including automotive, building and construction, consumer electronics and medical, among others. It had $3.7 billion in sales last year."

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