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Pharmacy services provider Omnicare Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters across the Ohio River, from northern Kentucky to downtown Cincinnati, with the help of $6 million in tax breaks.
The company, which dispenses drugs to nursing homes and long-term-care facilities, reported that the relocation will involve nearly 500 workers. It plans to begin bringing operations to Cincinnati from Covington, Ky., in December and expects to complete the move by June 2012.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich joined Mayor Mark Mallory in Cincinnati for Monday's announcement. The news was first reported by The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Omnicare is moving from downtown Covington, on the banks of the Ohio river, to urban Cincinnati.
Cincinnati's economic development director, Patrick Ewing, said the city has a lot to offer the company and its workers, including a strong business community -- nine Fortune 500 companies call Cincinnati home -- and a vibrant downtown with sports stadiums and renovated urban housing.
"Cincinnati is a major metropolitan area," Ewing said. "It's the core city of the region."
However, Covington is losing a major company and "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in annual tax revenue, City Manager Larry Klein told The Cincinnati Enquirer. The city will have to revise its budget for the fiscal year ending June 30.
"We just went through a series of reductions, and this does not bode well for us," Klein said. He told the newspaper that Covington had been working for more than a year on an incentive package to keep Omnicare in the state, but "in the end, Ohio offered a more attractive package."
Ohio offered Omnicare $6 million in job-creation tax credits and, in exchange, the company will create 340 new full-time jobs over the next three years and keep 55 other jobs in Cincinnati, according to JobsOhio Chief Marketing Officer Marlon Cheatham. JobsOhio is the state's semi-private economic development board that oversees job creation functions for the state.
"It's always great to have a top-tier company in your community," he said. "It attracts individuals to your work force, adds weight to what the state can offer health care companies."
The city of Cincinnati is also offering incentives to the tune of $2.4 million over 10 years for the jobs the company will bring, Ewing, said.
Omnicare spokesman Patrick Lee said the downtown Cincinnati office is only a mile across the Ohio River. He said the company wanted a new headquarters within six miles of their old one so as to not make the commute too much harder for its Kentucky work force, which will stay on at the new location.
Omnicare CEO John Figueroa said the move would reduce overhead costs without disrupting employees' lives.
"We believe our move to Ohio meets all the criteria of a good business decision, as it reduces health care costs, improves company economics, and respects the interests of our employees," he said in a news release.