Twin Cities wooing Fortune 500 company, fighting to keep another


The battle to keep a Fortune 500 company headquarters in the Twin Cities – and the courting of another – illustrate a high-stakes, cut-throat battle waged by cities and states to attract and retain big companies, the Pioneer Press reports.

Grocery distributor Nash Finch announced a merger in July with Michigan-based Spartan stores, and could potentially leave it's Edina base, the newspaper reports, although store officials have said they plan to "retain a presence" in both Michigan and Minnesota.

Nash Finch has been in the Twin Cities for nearly a century, the Pioneer Press noted last summer.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis is in the running for an HQ move by agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland, which has been in Decatur, Ill., for four decades. Now the company aims to move to a big city and Chicago and the company's first hometown, Minneapolis, are top contenders.

The Business Journal outlines why the metro is a good fit for ADM. ADM’s preferred site is Chicago, one source told the Chicago Tribune.

ADM announced its plans to leave Decatur in a press release: “To continue to succeed, we need a global center in a location that allows us to travel and work efficiently with customers and employees throughout the world. We also need an environment where we can attract and retain employees with diverse skills, and where family members can find ample career opportunities.”

The Pioneer Press notes that a lot of negotiating and deal-making goes on behind the scenes when big corporations are eyeing a move. And often the players are cities and counties offering tax deals, which some say amounts to corporate welfare that hurts taxpayers.

"We're giving taxpayer dollars to private corporations, private business – believe me, this is corporate welfare," Art Rolnick, a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, told the Pioneer Press.

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Fortune Global 500 list includes six Minnesota companies

UnitedHealth Group, Target, Best Buy, Supervalu, 3M and Inver Grove Heights-based CHS are among Fortune’s list of the biggest companies in the world. Twin Cities Business reports all the Minnesota companies were on the list last year, but dropped in this year’s annual ranking, expect for CHS, who jumped 97 spots.