Sources: ADM to open headquarters in Chicago

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Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 8:36 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Archer Daniels Midland Company will move its global headquarters to Chicago, two people with knowledge of the decision said Tuesday.

They said the company plans to announce the move Wednesday. The two people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the official announcement.

The deal calls for relocating 60 to 75 employees — less than half the number of jobs ADM originally planned to create in the new location — and doesn't involve tax incentives which the agribusiness giant had sought from Illinois lawmakers.

ADM announced earlier this year it planned to move its global headquarters — and about 100 jobs — from Decatur to a city with better global access and that would be more attractive to younger talent. The company also planned to open a technology center with about 100 additional jobs at the new site.

The two people familiar with the decision said the deal to be announced Wednesday followed several meetings between Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, and ADM CEO Patricia Woertz. They say the company no longer promises to open the tech center.

ADM officials did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Tuesday.

The company's announcement earlier this year prompted a new round of concerns about Illinois' business climate and debate in the Legislature about whether Illinois should offer financial incentives to companies to create new jobs or keep jobs in the state.

ADM had sought up to $30 million in tax breaks to keep in the global headquarters in Illinois. The Illinois Senate and a House committee approved that deal during a special legislative session earlier this month, but the House adjourned without taking a vote on the measure.

Business leaders and some lawmakers feared the lack of action would frustrate ADM and send the company out of state. But House Speaker Michael Madigan criticized ADM and other companies for seeking the incentives. The powerful Chicago Democrat also said he was unlikely to support perks for companies that pay little in taxes.

ADM has about 30,000 employees worldwide. The company plans to leave about 4,400 jobs in Decatur, and make the central Illinois city its North American headquarters.

While Chicago officials had said the city was in the running for the new global headquarters, officials in Atlanta and St. Louis said they also were also in contact with the company.

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Associated Press reporter Tammy Webber contributed to this report.

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