Milacron Inc. is raising $11.5 million by selling its Batavia, Ohio, plastics machinery factory to Hamilton County Development Co. Inc., which then will lease it back to Milacron for 10 years at a low interest rate.
At the end of the 10-year period, Milacron will buy the building again for $1.
The Batavia factory, which employs 660 making injection molding presses, extruders, blow molding machines and other equipment, is the headquarters of Milacron's Plastics Technologies Group.
Milacron plans to use the money to pay for employee training and product development, said spokesman Al Beaupre. The company has been implementing Six Sigma and lean manufacturing practices at Batavia and its other factories, including a nearby machining factory in Mount Orab, Ohio.
The lease-back move is part of the Ohio Enterprise Bond Program, created to generate new jobs and preserve existing jobs. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, recognizing the manufacturing downturn could hurt capital equipment, initially contacted Milacron to ask how the state could help, according to Beaupre.
The state bond program is financed by industrial revenue bonds.
``It's just really a way in which the government can facilitate really low-interest loans to business, and it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything,'' Beaupre said.
Luring new factories to a state grabs the headlines. But 80 percent of job growth comes from expansion of existing companies, said David Main, president of Hamilton County Development in Cincinnati.
``As a mature industrial economy, we want to make sure we retain our existing industry,'' he said.