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Champion PetFoods Invests More Than $85 Million On Auburn, Kentucky, Operations Center

Area Development Online News Desk (04/24/2014)
Alberta, Canada-based Champion Petfoods USA Inc., which specializes in biologically appropriate pet foods using fresh local ingredients, plans to open its first U.S. kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky, with plans to create 147 jobs. Champion plans to invest more than $85 million to build a world-class pet food kitchen in Logan County.

“We rely on ingredients from local farmers and ranchers, and strong relationships with the agricultural community are key to our success. Logan County offers both,” said Frank Burdzy, Champion’s President/CEO. “Pet lovers in America want more of our foods, and we feel the time is right to build a kitchen closer to our US customers. We are extremely pleased that Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky have partnered with us to grow our food production in Logan County.”

“Champion Petfoods is growing worldwide, and we are extremely pleased they have chosen to invest in Logan County,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “Not only will Champion Petfoods bring vital agricultural jobs to the region, but it will also create a new customer base for nearby farmers and ranchers. We look forward to this exciting partnership.”

As an incentive to encourage the investment and job growth in Logan County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $8.7 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved Champion Petfoods for tax benefits up to $1.3 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

“Champion Petfoods is a community-minded company, and I’m excited to welcome them to south central Kentucky,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes. “Champion’s investment will have a significant impact on our region’s economy and will put more Kentuckians back to work.”

“TVA congratulates Champion Petfoods on their decision to locate company operations and add new jobs in Auburn,” said John Bradley, TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development. “TVA and Warren RECC are pleased to assist Champion through our partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Logan Economic Alliance for Development, the city of Auburn and the Logan County Fiscal Court.”

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