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Illinois Senate passes bill attempting to draw Univar headquarters to Downers Grove

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 8:07 p.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE – Legislation co-sponsored by state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, encouraging the relocation of Washington State corporation Univar’s headquarters to Downers Grove was approved Tuesday by the Illinois Senate.

The bill is an amended version of similar legislation passed by the Illinois House last month. It will return to the House for a vote before going to the governor's desk.

The legislation will allow Univar to apply an EDGE tax credit against tax withholdings created by the new and retained jobs, instead of only corporate income taxes. The legislation is anticipated to secure the company almost $5 million in incentives during a period of 10 years.

In exchange, Univar would be required to invest $9.3 million in capital improvements, retain 100 full-time jobs at locations in Illinois and create another 69 full-time jobs.

“Univar would be the first major west coast corporation to relocate its headquarters to Illinois since Boeing came to Chicago in 2001,” Dillard said in a statement. “Attracting this type of world-class corporation is key to rebuilding our economy and re-establishing Illinois’ reputation as a business-friendly state.”

Univar is a $10 billion global company specializing in the distribution of industrial and specialty chemicals. It is exploring relocating its headquarters for a variety of reasons, including closer proximity to major corporate partners, such as Exxon and Dow Chemical facilities, according to a news release from Dillard's office.

The company has also expressed interest in having greater access to a workforce with a broad skill set and chemical distribution industry experience, better communication with its North American and European facilities and the promise of convenient travel to all Univar global business units through O’Hare Airport, the release said.

Univar has also considered relocating its headquarters to Houston, Texas, or remaining in Washington State.

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