PhillyInc: Delaware businesses expanding near and far

Several of Delaware's corporate citizens have been busy planning new factories, expanding old ones, and splitting up.

Earlier this year, DuPont Co. sold off its Performance Coatings business to the Carlyle Group Inc. for $4.9 billion. That business, which makes paint for automobile manufacturers and remains based in Wilmington, said Monday it would spend more than $50 million to build a factory in Shanghai to supply the fast-growing Chinese auto industry.

Quite an investment for the company now called Axalta Coating Systems just 100 days after separating from DuPont. Led by chairman and chief executive Charles Shaver, Axalta has 35 factories worldwide.

Axalta said it intends to begin construction in China in the second half of 2013 with production set to launch in early 2015. The company generates $4.3 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 14,000 people globally.

General Electric Co. announced a more local investment: expansion of a Newark, Del., factory that makes aircraft engine components.

The GE Aviation unit said it employs about 80 at the 110,000-square-foot research complex. The expansion would turn it into one of GE's "Lean Labs," working on production technologies needed to manufacture parts made from ceramic matrix composites. Those parts, intended for use in the Leap jet engine , would be mass-produced somewhere else.

Delaware state officials provided a total of $1.1 million in grants to subsidize the project, which is expected to add up to 70 jobs over the next five years.

Finally, SLM Corp. indicated that its split into two publicly traded student-loan finance companies, announced Wednesday, isn't likely to affect its employment base in Delaware, where about 1,200 people work.

 

 


Contact Mike Armstrong at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com, or @PhillyInc on Twitter. Read his blog, "PhillyInc," at www.inquirer.com/phillyinc.