Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Swedish Match Expansion Breaks Ground in Owensboro
Company investing more than $3 million to grow research, development capabilities
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Swedish Match will invest more than $3 million in its Owensboro facility to expand its research and development department, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.
“Swedish Match recognizes Kentucky as a prime location for investment, a message we’ve been trumpeting at home and internationally,” said Gov. Beshear. “Projects like this represent a vote of confidence in the breadth and quality of Kentucky’s workforce and that our state is a great location for business and foreign direct investment.”
With its 10,000-square-foot expansion, Stockholm-based Swedish Match, a manufacturer of tobacco products, will grow its R&D department by eight employees. The addition will increase the company’s capabilities to formulate new products in Daviess County. The project includes laboratories, offices and meeting spaces. The company expects to complete the project in May and open the enlarged department in early June.
“Swedish Match, for many years, has been dedicated to innovation,” said Thord Hassler, vice president of Swedish Match research and development. “An enhancement project, completed at the R&D center in Sweden three years ago, has proven to be a worthwhile investment. The company is now following up with a similar investment in our U.S. R&D facility. Swedish Match is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on both of these investments by being a premier supplier of snus products in Europe and a key supplier of similar moist snuff products in the U.S. marketplace.”
Swedish Match, established in 1904, produces tobacco products including moist snuff, cigars and chewing tobacco. Among the company’s most recognizable brands are Cricket, Game, Garcia y Vega, General, Longhorn, Red Man, Timberwolf and White Owl. The company maintains operations in six countries, employs 4,400 people and sells products in more than 100 countries. The company employs 340 at its Owensboro facilities.
Kentucky has had great success in attracting foreign direct investment. Last year, nearly a third of new investment and more than 20 percent of new jobs came from FDI projects. The Commonwealth is home to more than 445 foreign-owned companies from 33 nations, employing more than 89,000 people.
“I was proud to advocate on behalf of this project because I know how much it will mean to Swedish Match and our community,” said Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Philpot. “This additional research and development will allow the company to focus on expanding its product line and potentially invest even more locally. I’m glad to see this valued company make this move and solidify its commitment to our economy.”
“This announcement is great news for our community and the company alike and will build on our world-leading reputation in the area of tobacco,” said Rep. Jim Glenn, of Owensboro. “I want to thank Swedish Match for deciding to invest this much, and I appreciate the hard work of our local and state economic development officials for helping to make this possible.”
“Swedish Match is certainly a valued corporate citizen of Daviess County and this expansion of the research and development center in Owensboro makes their presence even more significant,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “The R&D jobs expected to be created as a result of this $3.064 million investment are highly desired by most communities so we are fortunate to have been chosen as their location.”
To encourage the investment in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA 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.
In addition, Swedish Match is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.
For more information on Swedish Match, visit www.swedishmatch.com.
A detailed community profile for Owensboro (Daviess County) can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.