Council approves nearly $14.8 million state grant for Incyte expansion

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The Delaware Council on Development Finance approved a $14.8 million Strategic Grant to Incyte Corp. to expand its operations in Wilmington.

Incyte CEO Hervé Hoppenot has previously stated that the company wants to consolidate its 1,500-employee workforce in one location.

Incyte currently leases office space in neighboring Pennsylvania. The growth of Incyte and other bioscience companies has offset the loss of thousands of jobs nearly a decade ago when AstraZeneca downsized Delaware operations. AZ still has headquarters, packaging, and logistics operations in Delaware.

The state issues Strategic Grants if recipient companies meet employment and investment benchmarks. Some have criticized the grants as “corporate welfare.” The grants are designed to counter aggressive recruitment efforts by other states.

The fast-growing drug company earlier saw a proposal to expand into the nearby Alapocas neighborhood through the purchase of property from Wilmington Friends School fall through due to fierce opposition from community groups and, according to some accounts, second thoughts about costs.

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The Delaware governor’s office issued the following statement last week:

“The state and the city have had recent discussions with Incyte as the company seeks to expand its operations. We are hopeful that everything will continue to come together so we can talk more about this in the near future.” Incyte’s headquarters and research complex are located just outside the Wilmington city limits.

Last week, Incyte announced plans to buy back up to $2 billion of its stock

“This tender offer reflects our confidence in the future outlook of our business, the strength of our commercial product portfolio and our clinical development pipeline and Incyte’s long-term value. We believe the current valuation of Incyte stock makes repurchases of our stock an attractive investment and an opportunity to enhance long-term shareholder value,” said Hoppenot. “Our strong balance sheet, cash flow and access to capital enable us to undertake this transaction while also preserving the flexibility to further add to the growth of our business through focused, strategic acquisitions.”

Incyte stock is trading below its peak after some drug candidates did not live up to expectations.

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