Swedish wound care firm picks Wiscasset over Brunswick for expansion

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 15, 2014, at 6:13 p.m.

WISCASSET, Maine — Wiscasset voters at a Tuesday town meeting voted unanimously to expand an existing tax break for Swedish medical supply company Molnlycke that will help the company expand its wound dressing manufacturing operation in that town.

Molnlycke will invest $5.5 million to $7 million in a new, 32,000-square-foot facility to house the company’s porcine-derived burn dressing manufacturing operations, which are currently located in Minnesota.

Under terms of the tax increment financing agreement, Molnlycke must purchase the building it currently leases for its existing Wiscasset facility. The company also plans to expand its existing Wiscasset plant, which manufactures the foam used in Molnlycke’s wound care products, and increase its research and development, according to Mark Dignum, site manager for the Wiscasset and Brunswick facilities.

Job creation is not a condition of the TIF agreement, but Dignum said Molnlycke expects to add 10 to 30 jobs in the next three to five years.

The new facility will be on the same lot as the existing plant in the Ferry Crossing Business and Technology Park.

Under the new TIF agreement, 35 percent of the property taxes on the existing facility will be returned to the company until 2024 — the end of the original TIF — and 20 percent will be returned to the company for an additional 10 years, Town Manager Laurie Smith said Wednesday.

Property tax revenue on the expansion will be split evenly between the company and the town.

In addition, Molnlycke calculates that the town will gain roughly $350,000 over the life of the TIF by sheltering the new value from state education and revenue-sharing funding formulas.

The expansion is a move toward developing a “North American hub,” which includes the company’s new $47 million factory that opened in September at Brunswick Landing, according to a release.

The Brunswick plant was built in part to take advantage of its proximity to the Wiscasset facility.

In August, James Detert, Molnlycke’s business development director for the Americas, said that the company tentatively planned to open a new facility in either Wiscasset or Brunswick.

Dignum said Wednesday that the company chose Wiscasset instead of Brunswick in part because of the tax-incentive financing agreement and in part because it is more cost-effective to expand the existing Wiscasset facility than to build a new plant or expand an existing building at Brunswick Landing.

“On behalf of myself, the town planner and the board of selectmen, I’m very happy that the town authorized the TIF,” Smith said Wednesday. “I’m very proud that Molnlycke has made the decision to invest in Wiscasset. They’re a good business, a good community member and a good employer. I’ve often said, ‘They’re the poster child for the kind of business you want to attract to your community.’”

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/15/business/swedish-wound-care-firm-picks-wiscasset-over-brunswick-for-expansion/ printed on October 1, 2014