Updated: Axalta moves headquarters out of Delaware; R&D to remain

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Axalta Coating Systems is establishing new headquarters for both its corporate and its North America operations in Philadelphia and suburban Delaware County, just north of Wilmington. The company will keep research and development jobs in the state.

The move had been widely rumored in commercial real estate circles in recent months as Pennsylvania made an aggressive bid to land the business.

“We understood from the time of the acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings by the Carlyle Group there was a strong desire by management to move so they could establish their own identity separate from the DuPont Co.,” said Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin.  “While it is always disappointing to lose jobs, we are heartened that R & D and production will remain in Delaware and that the employees who are being moved to Glen Mills will not need to relocate their families because of the proximity of the facility to Delaware.”

Axalta earlier announced a $5 million investment in its R&D facility in the DuPont Experimental Station that will speed the ability move products to market.

The company was sold by DuPont Co. to the Carlyle Group. Headquarters and R&D operations had been in the Wilmington area. Carlyle has an interest in the former Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia.

The new corporate headquarters offices, which opened on September 30, are in Center City Philadelphia at Two Commerce Square. The North America offices in Concord Township will open on October 31.

The move will bring more than 100 jobs to Philadelphia and more than 230 to the township. “We are tremendously excited about our new facilities in Pennsylvania,” explained Charlie Shaver,  CEO of Axalta Coating Systems.  “New offices are a vital element in our plan to communicate our independence and new identity to our customers, our employees and other stakeholders in the U.S. and around the world.”

The Philadelphia corporate headquarters will direct Axalta’s global operations.  With 2012 revenues of $4.3 billion, Axalta is the fifth largest coatings company in the world, employing more than 12,000 people in 130 countries on six continents.

Axalta  has  35 manufacturing facilities, seven research and development centers and 42 customer training centers in addition to numerous sales offices.   “My administration is working every day to bring new jobs to Pennsylvania – today we celebrate 332 new jobs coming to Philadelphia and Delaware County,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. “It’s a sign we are heading in the right direction and Pennsylvania’s economy is on the rise. Global companies like Axalta now want to come here, hire our workers and grow in the commonwealth.”

“Axalta’s move is great news for our city with more than 100 jobs created and a major expression of confidence in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter.  “This announcement is just the latest in a long line of companies, large and small, that are doubling down on Philadelphia and creating jobs for Philadelphians.  Over the next weeks and months we anticipate more exciting announcements with businesses that are starting here, staying here and growing right here in Philadelphia.”

“We welcome Axalta, as they establish their North American Headquarters in Concord Township.  We are pleased they chose to become a part of our vibrant economic community, and wish them continued success in every hue,” said Delaware County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle.“We appreciate the partnership of Governor Corbett and his Action Team, Mayor Nutter, the city’s Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the leadership of Delaware County, the Country Redevelopment Authority and Concord Township, Select Greater Philadelphia and others for enabling us to establish our new offices here,” said Shaver.

Delaware has been successful in landing companies from Philadelphia and its suburbs. The most high profile success came in landing AAA-Mid Atlantic from Philadelphia, a move that irritated officials of the city at the time.

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