Tag: New Castle County

Angel Investor Tax Credit Puts Delaware in the Top 10 for Tech

Angel investor tax credit puts Delaware in the top 10 for tech


The Milken Institute has been publishing its biannual State Technology and Science Index since 2002, a study that evaluates each state in the U.S. by several factors, including access to startup capital and startup activity.

Delaware cracked the top 10 in 2016. Now, thanks to a new tax law that allows gives startup investors a credit on investments over $10,000, the state is ranked higher than it’s ever been previously, at No. 7.

The tax credit bill, the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act for Small Technology Companies, signed into law by Governor John Carney last May, gave Delaware a big boost in the study. In the sub-index measuring the ability of tech and science companies to obtain investment, Delaware previously had a below-average rank of 29. Now, that factor is ranked 15.

In two of the study’s sub-indexes, Delaware ranked No. 5: the strength of its tech and science workforce, and its business startup rate of 53.4 per 1,000 residents.

The top four ranked states — Massachusetts (1), Colorado (2), Maryland (3) and California (4) — have all maintained the same ranking since 2016. Washington and Minnesota each dropped one place, but remain in the top 10.

Elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic, Pennsylvania is No. 13 (up from 14 in 2016), and New Jersey dropped from 17 to 21.

Kurt Foreman


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Port of Wilmington Privatization Deal Promises More Jobs, Stable Economic Future

Port of Wilmington privatization deal promises more jobs, stable economic future

18 SEPTEMBER, 2018

Delaware officials on Tuesday signed a final agreement with Emirati port operator Gulftainer to privatize the Port of Wilmington.

Gov. John Carney and Gulftainer officials signed a document commemorating the agreement in front of a crowd of state and local government officials.

Badr Jafar, chairman of Gulftainer’s executive board, said the deal and accompanying growth in the state’s port business will “firmly establish Wilmington as the largest logistics facility on the Delaware River and the leading food gateway on the East Coast.”

Carney said the deal would secure and grow the state’s current maritime workforce and blunt Delaware’s loss of “blue-collar jobs” over recent years.

“I come here with a big smile … knowing that what we are going to do here today is to secure the jobs of the people and the families who work here at the port and those who are going to work in the years to come,” Carney said.

Under terms of the 50-year deal, a U.S. subsidiary of Gulftainer will take over operations of the existing port of Wilmington at the confluence of the Christina and Delaware rivers.

It will invest some $600 million in upgrades and build a new container-handling terminal on the Delaware at Edgemoor, officials have said.

State officials estimate the takeover could double the 5,700 port and maritime-related jobs in Delaware.

A spokesman for Carney declined to provide a copy of the agreement but said it will be made available after a legal review.

The agreement takes effect in the coming two weeks, officials said. The state will continue to own the existing port property as well as the Edgemoor property, which was once DuPont Co.’s Edge Moor chemical production facility. The state bought that property for $10 million in 2016.

Per the agreement, the state will receive concession payments from Gulftainer totaling about $10 million a year in the coming decades.

The company, based in the United Arab Emirates, opened its first U.S. container facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 2015. The company has ports in the UAE, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Brazil and is a subsidiary of the Crescent Enterprises, a privately held UAE conglomerate.

“The underlying potential of the north American market has long been an aspiration for Gulftainer,” Jafar, the company chairman, said.

Jafar said the company will double the container throughout of the current port to “underpin” the development at Edgemoor.

The agreement sets a goal for a 75 percent increase in traffic for non-containerized goods like liquids and automobiles, officials have said.

Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, who chairs the port’s operating board, said the kind of jobs created will “secure the state’s future.”

“You can still get big things done in our state,” Bullock said.

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Christiana Care Listed by U.S. News as ‘Best Hospital’

Christiana Care listed by U.S. News as ‘Best Hospital’

16 AUGUST, 2018

For the third year in a row, Christiana Care Health System has been rated a Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report.

Out of more than 4,500 hospitals in the U.S., New Castle-based Christiana Care was one of only 29 to achieve the highest ratings in every common condition or procedure.

Christiana Care was also recognized as the best hospital in Delaware and was ranked No. 3 among the 90-plus hospitals in the Philadelphia region, a release stated.

“At Christiana Care, we serve together to make a positive impact on the health of our community,” said Janice E. Nevin, Christiana Care president CEO. “That impact starts with the high-quality, safe care that we provide in our hospitals. This recognition by U.S. News & World Report affirms that we’re exceptional today—and we remain committed to do all that we can to be even better tomorrow.”

The conditions and procedures ranked are:

  • Colon cancer surgery
  • Lung cancer surgery
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Heart failure
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Aortic valve surgery
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
  • Knee replacement
  • Hip replacement

These procedures and surgeries represent a high level of achievement across the board and is a testament to our organization’s culture,” said Ken L. Silverstein, chief clinical officer and executive vice president at Christiana Care.

“We know that in order to deliver the very best care, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals need to be able to experience joy in their work,” he said. “We focus on supporting and partnering with our caregivers to create that positive experience.”

U.S. News & World Report measures procedure and condition ratings based on three elements: structures, the resources devoted to patient care; process, whether the practices that help patients are woven into hospital routine; and outcomes, the results of care as measured by five years of claims data and other sources.

It ranks hospitals in nine conditions and procedures as either high performing, average or below average. The procedures and conditions measured were selected based on patient volumes, the availability of comparison data and the presence of risk or complexity.

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Ashland Moving Corporate Headquarters to Delaware by 2020

Ashland moving corporate headquarters to Delaware by 2020

3 AUGUST, 2018

Ashland Inc.’s announcement that it is moving its headquarters and less than 100 jobs to Delaware marks an investment in a state where the company has had a convoluted and, at times, controversial history.

The new headquarters will be located at 500 Hercules Road in Brandywine Springs, where the company already has an office campus with about 235 workers. The move is expected to happen by Jan. 1 2020.

“Ashland has a long history of innovation and success, including right here in Delaware,” Gov. John Carney said via email. “We’re thrilled they have selected Delaware for their corporate headquarters. This is additional proof that Delaware remains a great place for companies of any size to put down roots, grow, and create jobs.”

The move to Delaware will follow a corporate downsizing at the 94-year-old company that recently fell out of the Fortune 500.

Ashland says it will be “significantly downsizing” its current headquarters in Covington, Kentucky, in advance of the relocation with some of the 48 jobs there being eliminated and others being moved to its facility in Dublin, Ohio.

The remainder will be brought to Delaware, along with employees from its offices in Lexington, Kentucky. About 58 people work at that office, although some of those jobs also will be eliminated or relocated to Dublin, while other employees will be asked to work remotely.

The downsizing is part of a plan Ashland CEO William Wulfsohn announced in May to cut $120 million in expenses. Workers at the two Kentucky offices affected by the move were told of the downsizing on Tuesday.

Ashland saw its stock price jump to a 10-year high of $85.60 per share after the announcement, which coincided with a third-quarter earnings report that showed sales up 12 percent and a $66 million positive swing in net revenue compared to last year.

Founded in Kentucky 94 years ago, Ashland first became a household name here when the company purchased former Hercules Inc. for $3.3 billion in 2008.

Hercules was broken out of the DuPont Co. and once employed 1,800 people at the global headquarters it built in downtown Wilmington. But the company began to falter in the early 2000s after a series of questionable business decisions, leading to its eventual sale.

Ashland later moved its new acquisition out of the city, leaving 125,600 square feet of space vacant in Wilmington’s Hercules Plaza.

Despite the move, Delaware agreed in 2012 to provide Ashland with $10 million worth of taxpayer grants in exchange for the company’s promise to add 300 jobs in five years, bringing its total local workforce to more than 800. The deal was one of the largest economic development incentive packages approved under former Gov. Jack Markell.

But just two years later, Ashland sold its Delaware-based water technologies business to a private investment firm, which renamed the new standalone company Solenis. That business is now headquartered at the 21st Century Plaza in Brandywine Hundred.

The remaining company failed to reach its hiring goal and in 2015 was forced to repay nearly $335,000 of the state grant money it had received up to that point.

The same year, the now-defunct Delaware Economic Development Office helped Solenis win a $1.1 million taxpayer grant to help the company add 122 additional jobs by 2017 – a deal that would have brought its total Delaware workforce to 336. The company exceeded that goal by 31 jobs, state officials said Thursday.

No financial incentives have been offered to Ashland in connection with its impending move to New Castle County, according to the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

The DPP was created by the General Assembly last summer when DEDO was dissolved and its responsibilities split between the new public-private partnership and the Division of Small Business.

Ashland’s impending relocation marks the first major accomplishment for the new organization since its new CEO Kurt Foreman took the helm in April.

“There wasn’t a lot of selling involved because they already were familiar with Delaware,” Foreman said. “It was more about being ready with the information they were looking for to help them make their decision.”

While Foreman said he is happy to have helped Ashland, he stressed that attracting new companies will not be the sole focus of the partnership.

“We want that to be only one part of our strategy,” he said. “There is nothing better than for those companies we want to bring here to see existing companies in the state grow and thrive. That’s a big part of where our focus is.”

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Agribusiness from Europe Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Delaware

Agribusiness from Europe Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Delaware

16 JULY, 2018

When it came time for Belchim Crop Protection to decide on the home for its United States headquarters, the European company looked at the Research Triangle in North Carolina. It looked in Kansas City and it looked in Dallas.

So, naturally the agribusiness has set up HQ in a business park on Centerville Road where Prices Corner meets Greenville.

Now, the company with a growing portfolio of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other biological products is poised to take a larger market share in the U.S.

Last year, Belchim, which reported $600 million in sales in 2017, acquired Prescott, Arizona-based Engage Agro USA, laying the groundwork for major U.S. expansion.

The U.S. arm of Belchim plans $50 million in growth over the next three years. U.S. general manager Tom Wood said the growth will be aimed at expanding from niche fruit and vegetable crops into large row crops like corn.

Most of Belchim’s U.S. customers are on the west coast. The expansion into row crops will open up east coast markets like Delaware, where corn and soy crops are aplenty. Wood said Belchim is going to bring a unique herbicide to the U.S. market that is not there today.

Setting up in Delaware, of course, puts Belchim in the backyard of DuPont, which will live in on Delaware with its Corteva Acgriscience spinoff. Chemical giant FMC also makes Philadelphia its home. Belchim and FMC worked together in 2013, when Belchim granted FMC exclusive rights to develop, register, manufacture and sell Belchim’s proprietary fungicide valifenalate, in North America, Latin America and elsewhere.

Belchim later bought back FMC’s stake in the company after FMC acquired Cheminova.

“It’s a David and Goliath story,” Wood said. “We’re up against giants.

“Our strategy is not to go head-to-head with the basics like Corteva and not to go head-to-head in national distribution… Our strategy is to provide something for those types of companies from a life cycle management perspective. We fill the gaps particularly on weeds that escape their products.

“So it’s something they can add to their portfolio that is cost effective for them, for the grower and allows us to participate in market and take a market share without threatening the giants in any way.”

Belchim currently has just 12 employees in the U.S., up from seven at the beginning of the year. Some of those are out in the field working in regional sales positions across the country.

Four employees work full-time out of Delaware. Wood, a Chester native, said Belchim could have around a dozen or so employees in Delaware in two years.

“We will bring a unique herbicide to the U.S. market that is not there today,” he said. “So it will be a new innovation that the growers will appreciate. They’re already using it in mint crops as an emergency use approved by the EPA. It just gets the really tough weeds that no one else can get and it works well with every major herbicide out in the market.

“A lot of companies will enter the United States and come in with a, ‘Me, too.’ We will have something new that hasn’t been seen in the United States for years or they’ve never seen before.

“Once people start seeing our portfolio, they invite us back.”

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Feds Say no Further Review Necessary for Port of Wilmington Takeover by Emirati Company

Feds say no further review necessary for Port of Wilmington takeover by Emirati company

28 JUNE, 2018

The terms of the pending 50-year deal would see the state continue to own the land under the nearly 100-year-old Wilmington port while Gulftainer would take over operations of the facility, which sits at the confluence of the Christina and Delaware rivers. The federal sign-off means the final terms must now be ratified by the Diamond State Port Corp., the port’s quasi-public operating board. 


General Assembly endorses port privatization plan

Gulftainer chief promises jobs as board gives blessing to port privatization effort

“This is a significant step forward in finalizing our agreement with Gulftainer, which will protect and create good-paying, blue collar jobs at one of Delaware’s most important employment centers,” Carney said in a written statement. 

State officials say the deal could double the 5,700 port and maritime-related jobs in Delaware.

The General Assembly signed off on the deal earlier this year, leaving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) as the only approval outside the port necessary, officials said. 


That committee is tasked with reviewing transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person in order to determine the effect of such transactions on national security. The panel is comprised of military, homeland security, federal law enforcement officials and others. 

Wilmington would be Gulftainer’s second U.S. port. The company, based in the United Arab Emirates, opened a container facility in Canaveral, Florida, in 2015. The company has ports in the UAE, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Brazil and is a subsidiary of the Crescent Enterprises, a privately held UAE conglomerate. 

Earlier this week, Thomas P. Feddo, deputy assistant secretary of Investment Security for the Department of Treasury informed an attorney representing the state that the deal is not covered under the Defense Protection Act. That act gives the president authority to review certain transactions involving foreign entities. 


Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock said having the dozens or so federal agencies review the deal and declare no further review is necessary is the “best response we could have received” and clears the way for finalization of the deal. 

The board already signed off on the basic terms of the agreement earlier this year. 

Gulftrainer CEO Peter Richards has said Gulftainer plans to pour $73 million into the existing port through the next decade to modernize operations. 


The deal also calls for the development of a new container facility on state-owned land that was home to DuPont Co.’s Edge Moor chemical production facility to be finished by the first of 2024. Richards called it a $400 million investment. The state bought the 114-acre property from Chemours for $10 million in 2016.  

This article was originally posted on the Delaware News Joural at: https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2018/06/28/feds-sign-off-port-wilmington-takeover/739984002/


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