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Daily News

Funds for Electrolux Plant May Not Meet Deadline
Mar 3, 2011
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The State of Tennessee committed $97 million to appliance maker Electrolux to convince it to build a new cooking plant in Memphis, but may not be able to deliver the money in time.

The agreement made between the state and Electrolux and obtained by the new outlet Memphis Commercial Appeal requires "firm commitments" for the incentive money by Jan. 31, 2011 – commitments that the state has not been able to make. The news outlet also obtained a copy of a Feb. 23, 2011 letter from Electrolux Project Director and Controller Jacob Burroughs, giving the state until May 1 to get the legislative approvals for the money and June 1 for making the funds available.

Otherwise, Burroughs wrote, Electrolux may terminate the agreement. "Electrolux is not in a position to continue to delay the substantive work on the project," he wrote.

But in an AP report, Tennessee Lt. Gov. and Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey said getting the bulk of the cash to Electrolux by June was "practically impossible."

Electrolux plans to close its cooking appliances plant in l'Assomption, Quebec, Canada, in 2013, contingent on a production start-up in Memphis by mid-2012.

What will happen if Electrolux doesn't get the promised incentives by June 1? The Commercial Appeal quoted John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, who claimed that Electrolux would not only put the new plant in Mexico instead of Memphis, it would also close the existing Springfield, TN plant.

An Electrolux spokesperson said there are no plans to close the plant in Springfield.

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