Winston Salem project expects addition of 500 jobs

Anthony GonzalezStaff Writer

December 19, 2012

Gov. Perdue announced that Herbalife, a NYSE-listed company that manufactures and markets nutrition products, will establish a manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem.

The company plans to create about 500 jobs over the next three years and invest approximately $130 million in the purchase and complete retro-fitting of an existing facility, to include the machinery and technology to create a world-class manufacturing facility which is in full compliance with U.S. Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) for dietary supplements and food products.

The project, made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant and the One North Carolina Fund award, will revamp a defunct Dell Inc. computer manufacturing plant in North Carolina for an East Coast production center.

Dell closed the plant in November 2010 after just more than five years of operation. At its peak, the plant had a workforce of 1,400 workers, including contract and vendor employees.

According to the proposal for Project Galaxy, the local name given to the Herbalife deal, Herbalife plans to open an East Coast plant by June.

“North Carolina continues to be a top choice for companies looking to establish advanced manufacturing facilities,” said Governor Perdue. “We know we have a strong business climate and the skilled workforce that Herbalife needs to grow and flourish in North Carolina.”

Founded in 1980 in California, Herbalife is a global nutrition company that provides products to help people pursue a healthy, active life. The company’s nutrition, weight-management and personal care products are available exclusively through independent distributors in more than 80 countries.

“Herbalife is thankful to Gov. Perdue, who played a key role in our decision to locate our operations in North Carolina, as well as all those involved from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, the Winston-Salem City Council and various business development groups,” said Rich Goudis, chief operating officer. “Herbalife is excited about the opportunities this new facility offers to both our business and the local economy.

The company plans to produce a wide range of its nutrition products at the new Winston-Salem operations, which will be Herbalife’s largest owned manufacturing facility.

In exchange for the business, Herbalife will get $1 million up-front from North Carolina taxpayers, and up to $5.5 million more in state tax breaks if the company meets its targets and sustains them for 11 years. The company also could collect up to$3.4 million in local incentives.

Herbalife had a net sales of $3.5 billion in 2011.

The outgoing governor has been on a media blitz of late announcing initiatives in many North Carolina counties since her defeat in November’s election.