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Regional Chamber President Weighs in on Possible ADM Move

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(credit: Archer Daniels Midland Company)

(credit: Archer Daniels Midland Company)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Last week, St. Louis bio-tech companies and organizations lined up in support of luring Archer Daniels Midland Co. to town after the agricultural giant announced two weeks ago that it planned to move its global headquarters out of Decatur, Illinois.

So, what’s the game plan?

The Illinois House is considering $20 million in tax incentives for ADM but Gov. Pat Quinn hasn’t offered much support.

St. Louis Regional Chamber President Joe Reagan says St. Louis makes sense because of the plant sciences hub here as well as the investment ADM already has. But, he says, the chamber treats clients with the respect to make their own decisions about what is best for them.

“Just like if we had a headquarters like that in this region that was considering going someplace else, we would be working hard to keep that here as well,” Reagan said.

Three of the ten people on ADM’s Board of Directors have St. Louis roots. Terrell Crews is a retired CFO from Monsanto, Patrick Moore is the CEO at Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation and on the board at the St. Louis Zoo, and Kelvin Westbrook is a director for Stifel and on the board at the Muny.

Reagan was asked if this helps the St. Louis case.

“In the end, a board is there to advise and to support the decisions of the management team, to help the CEO go through the due diligence, the thinking that they have to go through to make an important decision like this,” he said, adding that ultimately it is up to the CEO.

Another possibility would be for ADM to move to the Metro East, allowing it to remain in Illinois but benefit from its proximity to St. Louis.

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