CLAYTON – Novo Nordisk plans to invest $1.85 billion to build an expanded facility that will add about 700 new jobs in Johnston County over the next five years, Gov. Pat McCrory and Novo Nordisk officials announced today. The company, whose U.S. headquarters are in New Jersey, will manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients for its diabetes care products in Clayton.
“This investment by this great company is historic,” McCrory said at a ceremony at the Clayton facility. “This is the biggest capital investment project in the history of the Job Development Investment Grant since the program was started.”
Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla said that Commerce staff had been working with Novo Nordisk for a long time on the project. Under the terms of the JDIG reimbursement program, Novo Nordisk is eligible to receive up to $15.8 million back over 12 years if it hits job-creation targets.Skvarla also said that a fire alarm at the Commerce building in Raleigh almost derailed the announcement. State and company officials had a 30-minute window to sign the deal so that a news release in Denmark could be issued while European markets were still open. Skvarla credited quick work by the Capitol Police to determine there was no fire so that officials could return to the building and ink the deal.
“We decided on Clayton, North Carolina because this is where we’ve been, this is the partnership we have talked about, and this is where we want to be,” said Jesper Høiland, president of Novo Nordisk’s U.S. operations. “We have had a very, very stable workforce here; more than 20 percent of our colleagues are veterans. That’s very important.”
Novo Nordisk currently employs more than 750 at the Clayton facility and has more than 40,000 employees in 77 countries worldwide. Along with disease management pharmaceuticals, the company also employs more than 4,400 in research and development activities.
Raleigh businessman and former ambassador to Denmark Jim Cain was also in attendance at the event. Cain was appointed ambassador by President George W. Bush in 2005 and served until 2009.
“The very first phone call I got to congratulate me on my ambassadorship appointment was the chairman of Novo Nordisk,” said Cain, who admitted he did not know much about the company in 2005. “This investment is a great testament to how successful this state can be in recruiting and nurturing companies, and a great testament to how foreign companies feel confident about the future of this state and this country.”
The Commerce Department also said that Novo Nordisk could qualify for up to $1 million from the One North Carolina fund via a performance-based grant. The One NC Fund provides “financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state.” Grant recipients must meet job creation and investment performance standards to receive grant funds through the program, which also requires a local government match.