Archive for Tuesday, July 11, 2006

State lures research firm

Lenexa-based American Ingredients to tap expertise at KU

July 11, 2006


A research company that makes ingredients for baked goods is moving from Missouri to Kansas, drawn by $1 million in incentives that include research vouchers to be used at Kansas University.

American Ingredients Co. announced Monday that it would be leaving its three buildings in the Westport area of Kansas City, Mo., and moving into a former T-Mobile call center in Lenexa.

With 103 employees moving into the 50,000-square-foot building by the end of the year, American Ingredients will be looking to build on its success providing emulsifiers, shelf-life extenders, vitamin-enriching agents and other products to the commercial baking industry, said Larry Bigus, the company's outside general counsel.

That means tapping into the research expertise at KU and Kansas State University to find innovative products and processes, he said, including the elimination of trans fats from baked goods.

"It requires a research response to come up with a solution," said Bigus, who helped lead the search for a new site. "American Ingredients anticipates the need to continually be placing new products on the shelves in order to remain a major player in the industry."

The Kansas Bioscience Authority is providing American Ingredients with $500,000 in research vouchers during the next 10 years, said Clay Blair, chairman of the authority. The money is part of a $1 million package put together by the authority to lure the company across the state line.

The company had considered other sites - in Totowa, N.J.; Kansas City, Mo.; Grandview, Mo.; and Olathe - before settling on Lenexa.

"It's getting results," Blair said of the authority's ongoing efforts. "We're creating jobs and getting research dollars on the university campuses."

American Ingredients is merging with New Jersey-based Caravan Products Co.; both companies are owned by CSM North America, a division of CSM, a food company based in the Netherlands.


pundit 11 years, 10 months ago

Wow. What a move. From Westport to Lenexa.
.. How many new taxpayer-employees to Kansas? Probably none. ..

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 10 months ago

No, not at first. But the withholding taxes will be paid to Kansas, not Missouri. The tenancy will be in Lenexa--not in Westport, creating income for the Kansas landowner whose building they are occupying. Retail purchases in Kansas, close to work--with the accompanying sales taxes. The cleaning staff will likely be Kansans--gonna be hard to get cleaning crews to travel from Westport to Lenexa just to follow a contract that probably ends when the company moves. Other contracts will tend to be with Kansas companies. Machinery and equipment located in Kansas. And, as employees turn over, more Kansans will be hired and as employees move, more will move into Kansas to be closer to work. Not all, but more.

So, no new taxpayer employees in Kansas? Probably not today. But in five years, the impact will have been nontrivial.

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