Some of Indiana’s top political brass is pushing for the new agricultural headquarters of the merged Dow Chemical and DuPont to be located in Indianapolis. Indiana’s U.S. Sens. Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly spoke with DuPont Chief Executive Officer Edward Breen last week to push for the ag division to call Indianapolis home.
The ag company represents an opportunity for major job growth and economic development and is expected to do $18 billion a year in business, possibly growing larger than industry leader Monsanto.
Donnelly told Breen about the advantages of operating the ag operation in Indiana and pledged to be a resource in the coming weeks as a final decision is made.
Coats was optimistic about Breen’s impression of Indiana, spokesman Matt Lahr said.
“Senator Coats sensed that the executives are impressed with Indiana’s business climate, low taxes, convenient air travel and the quality of life Indianapolis offers,” Lahr said. “Senator Coats is pleased to support all efforts to retain and hopefully increase the presence of Dow AgroSciences in Indiana.”
Gov. Mike Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett met with representatives from Dow and DuPont earlier this month while they were in the city to tour Dow AgroSciences, which is located in northern Indianapolis. Dow AgroSciences captured $1.2 billion in sales in the third quarter of 2015 and employs about 1,500 people.
Indianapolis is competing against in Johnston, Iowa, and Wilmington, Del., for the ag division. DuPont’s Pioneer seed company is based in Johnston, and DuPont is headquartered in Wilmington.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he spoke Thursday with DuPont’s Breen and Dow CEO Andrew Liveris and an unnamed executive to push for Iowa as the headquarters of the new ag division.
The Iowa Republican, who is a farmer in Butler County, came away from the meetings believing the headquarters will likely end up in Iowa, where seed giant DuPont Pioneer has its agriculture operations in Johnston, or Indianapolis, home of Dow AgroSciences’ ag chemical and seed operations.
“Where the corporate headquarters is still up in the air, but I have a feeling that it’s very competitive for Iowa,” Grassley said in an interview Friday. At one point Grassley said he asked the expected head of the agricultural unit where his office would be located, but the senator didn’t get an answer. “That tells me he didn’t want to give me any bad news,” he said.