Bloomberg News

Caterpillar Will Build Plant Outside Illinois, County Says

February 09, 2012

(Updates with plant’s cost in first paragraph.)

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, won’t choose its home state of Illinois as the site of a new factory costing about $150 million, according to local officials.

The company told Peoria County it will build the plant in another state, Lori Curtis Luther, the county’s administrator, said in a telephone interview today. Jim Dugan, a spokesman for Peoria-based Caterpillar, declined to comment.

A Caterpillar official told Peoria County Board Chairman Thomas O’Neill that “they appreciate our hard work in Peoria and no one in the state of Illinois was going to get” the plant, O’Neill said in an interview.

Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said in March that Illinois legislators had created an “unfriendly” business climate. Two months earlier, the Illinois General Assembly approved measures including a 46 percent increase in the state’s corporate income tax.

Caterpillar is building and expanding factories from the U.S. to China as demand for trucks and shovels used in mines rises and old equipment is replaced in the U.S. and Europe. The company plans to select a site for the new U.S. plant by April 1. The factory will produce tractors and mini-hydraulic excavators and employ about 1,400 workers.

The company’s decision not to build the plant in Illinois was reported earlier by the Peoria Journal Star.

--Editors: Simon Casey, Steven Frank

To contact the reporter on this story: Shruti Singh in Chicago at ssingh28@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.


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