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Metal fabricator to relocate in northeast Indiana

Statement as issued Wednesday by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation:

FREMONT, Ind. (Feb. 27, 2013) – Koester Metals, Inc. (KMI), a manufacturer of sheet metal fabrications and enclosures, announced plans today to relocate its headquarters from Defiance, Ohio to here, creating up to 44 new jobs by 2018.

“KMI is the latest company to look across the border and take notice of Indiana's business-friendly climate,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Our fiscal stability, robust infrastructure and strong workforce have made the Hoosier State the best place to do business in the Midwest.”

The company will invest $2.7 million to move its headquarters and operations to its existing 130,000 square-foot facility in Fremont. KMI also plans to relocate fabricating equipment from Ohio and update the Steuben County facility's software and technology. The company, which currently employs 16 Hoosiers in Fremont, plans to begin hiring additional welders, laser operators and brake press operators in April.

“We are greatly looking forward to this move,” said Matthew Koester, operations manager of KMI. “While we are blessed to have many 20- and 30-year employees planning to make the move with us, we look to continue growing our family with continued development of the best and brightest workforce available. The state of Indiana and local governments were very important in helping KMI make the decision to move our business. We look forward to continued growth and success within the Fremont area and to further develop our roots within the community.”

Founded in 1975 in Defiance, Ohio, KMI produces sheet metal fabrications and enclosures, including traffic control, test equipment and transformer enclosures. Serving the aerospace, original equipment manufacturing, testing equipment and energy industries, the ISO-9001-certified company is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Koester Metals, Inc. up to $240,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Fremont will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation.

“KMI has been an excellent local company for Fremont since they initially leased the Fremont building in 2009,” said Steve Brown, president of the Fremont Town Council. “We are happy to see them acquire that facility, relocate their headquarters and consolidate operations in Fremont. This is a testament to the advantages of operating a business in Fremont and the state of Indiana.”

KMI is the latest company to relocate operations to the Hoosier State. Earlier this month, Lake Area Designs, a wooden furniture manufacturer for the RV industry, announced plans to invest $1.5 million to move its operations from Sturgis, Mich. to LaGrange, creating up to 34 new jobs.

About KMI

Since 1975, Koester Metals, Inc has offered high quality precision sheet metal fabrications and enclosures. Over the years, KMI has fine-tuned the design and manufacturing process in order to produce repeatable quality products, on time, exactly as promised. KMI offers solutions for the power generation industry including indoor and outdoor, portable, industrial, stationary, standby, and emergency power generator enclosures. For more information, visit www.kmienclosures.com.

About IEDC

Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.

The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.

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