Governor Eric J. Holcomb and local officials joined executives from Saturn Petcare, the largest private-label, pet food manufacturer in Europe, on Jan. 11 as the company announced plans to establish its first U.S. facility in Vigo County, Indiana, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2024. At the ceremony, the company unveiled a commemorative pet food label dedicated to Henry Holcomb, Indiana’s first dog, called Henry’s First Choice.
“To strengthen Indiana’s global economy, we’re committed to sharing our story with internationally-owned businesses like Saturn Petcare and developing mutually-beneficial relationships around the world,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Indiana shares important economic ties with Germany, which is why I was pleased to meet with Saturn Petcare executives in Berlin last summer. I’m thrilled to welcome them to the Hoosier state today as they commit to locating their first U.S. facility and creating hundreds of good careers in Vigo County.”
The company, which is headquartered in Bremen, Germany, and is a subsidiary of the Heristo Group, will invest more than $38 million to establish operations in Terre Haute, purchasing, renovating and equipping a more than 350,000-square-foot facility at 411 E. Dallas Drive in the Vigo County Industrial Park II. With construction planning already underway, the new facility will initially house production of wet pet food for cats and dogs in aluminum trays. With its expansion, Saturn Petcare plans to enhance its U.S. client base, which includes specialty stores, supermarkets and discount stores.
Saturn Petcare plans to start production in Indiana in June 2020. The company will begin its hiring process for management positions and production jobs soon thereafter. Interested applicants may submit their resume to email@example.com.
“Over five years ago, Saturn Petcare started looking for sites throughout the U.S. to launch our first facility outside of Europe,” said Hubert Schiermeier, chief executive officer of Saturn Petcare and member of the board. “After exceeding requirements like having a strong infrastructure and being in close proximity to our customer base, and with tremendous support and collaboration at the state and local levels, it was clear that Vigo County was the right location for our expansion into the U.S.”
The news comes on the heels of Gov. Holcomb’s economic development trip to Europe in 2018, where he met with executives of German companies with Indiana operations and those working to establish new operations in the U.S. such as Saturn Petcare. Saturn Petcare joins a network of 121 German business establishments across the state, making Germany Indiana's second-largest foreign investor. Together, these companies, including Bayer Healthcare, Lehigh Cement Corporation, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies and ThyssenKrupp Presta, support more than 14,800 Hoosier jobs across the state.
“We are thrilled that Saturn Petcare is acquiring our former pharma manufacturing facility,” said Vigo County Commissioners President Brad Anderson. “Saturn Petcare is exactly the type of company that we envisioned when the county acquired the facility nearly a decade ago.”
Established in 1987, Saturn Petcare is the largest private-label, pet food producer in Europe. The company manufactures more than 1,500 different varieties of wet and dry food products for pets as well as specialty products like multi-layer pâtés, snacks and cat milk. Saturn Petcare, which operates one facility in Germany as well as a subsidiary location in the Netherlands, employs approximately 750 associates worldwide.
In 2018, the IEDC offered Saturn Petcare up to $1.375 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning that until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The IEDC also offered up to $1.96 million in conditional tax credits from the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit (DINO) program, which provides an incentive to invest in former industrial sites and improve quality of place in Indiana communities. The Vigo County Council and the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission approved additional incentives at the request of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation.
By Lindsay Beaton
As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
By Tang Yu