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Thu, Dec 15, 2011

Piper Seeking To Renegotiate Incentives With Local Government

Cites Difficult Economy In Asking For Debt Forgiveness

Piper has asked officials in Indian River County, FL, to re-open the terms of the incentive package it was given in 2008 to open its Vero Beach facility. The company says difficult economic times are making it hard to repay the incentives extended at the time.

When opening the plant, Piper agreed to a package that required a payback of over $1.5 million plus interest if it did not meet employment benchmarks. The Treasure Coast news site TCPalm.com reports that the overall incentives from state and county sources amounted to $32 million. The goal was to keep Piper and its now-suspended Altaire jet program in Vero Beach.

Piper officials said the company does not plan to ask for additional incentives, but is seeking relief in light of the large investment it has made in the Vero Beach facility. "This will help ensure the company can successfully continue to manage its financial affairs and accomplish its marketing, sales and employment goals in the future," Piper officials said in correspondence sent to the state.

Piper continues to employ about 700 people in Vero Beach, and has invested $100 million into the facility there. A spokesman for the state Department of Economic Opportunity said no timetable has been established for making a decision on Piper's request.

FMI: www.floridajobs.org, http://indian-river.fl.us, www.piper.com

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