Indiana Lands German Pet Food Manufacturer’s First U.S. Facility

By 2024, Saturn Petcare will invest more than $38 million and create up to 200 new jobs at its first U.S. facility in Terre Haute, IN. 

Saturn Petcare, the largest private-label, pet food manufacturer in Europe, will establish its first U.S. facility in Terre Haute, IN, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2024. The company, which is headquartered in Bremen, Germany and is a subsidiary of the Heristo Group, will invest more than $38 million to purchase, renovate and equip a more than 350,000-square-foot facility in the Vigo County Industrial Park II.

Terre Haute, IN
At the announcement ceremony, Saturn Petcare unveiled a commemorative pet food label dedicated to Henry Holcomb, Indiana’s first dog, called Henry’s First Choice.

“Over five years ago, Saturn Petcare started looking for sites throughout the U.S. to launch our first facility outside of Europe,” said Hubert Schiermeier, chief executive officer of Saturn Petcare and member of the board. “After exceeding requirements like having a strong infrastructure and being in close proximity to our customer base, and with tremendous support and collaboration at the state and local levels, it was clear that Vigo County was the right location for our expansion into the U.S.”

With construction planning already underway, the new facility will initially house production of wet pet food for cats and dogs in aluminum trays. With its expansion, Saturn Petcare plans to enhance its U.S. client base, which includes specialty stores, supermarkets and discount stores. Saturn Petcare plans to start production in Indiana in June 2020.

The project announcement comes on the heels of Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s economic development trip to Europe in 2018, where he met with executives of German companies with Indiana operations and those working to establish new operations in the U.S. such as Saturn Petcare. Saturn Petcare joins a network of 121 German business establishments across the state, making Germany Indiana’s second-largest foreign investor. Together, these companies, including Bayer Healthcare, Lehigh Cement Corporation, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies and ThyssenKrupp Presta, support more than 14,800 jobs across the state.

“To strengthen Indiana’s global economy, we’re committed to sharing our story with internationally-owned businesses like Saturn Petcare and developing mutually-beneficial relationships around the world,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana shares important economic ties with Germany, which is why I was pleased to meet with Saturn Petcare executives in Berlin last summer. I’m thrilled to welcome them to the Hoosier state today as they commit to locating their first U.S. facility and creating hundreds of good careers in Vigo County.”

“We are thrilled that Saturn Petcare is acquiring our former pharma manufacturing facility,” said Vigo County Commissioners President Brad Anderson. “Saturn Petcare is exactly the type of company that we envisioned when the county acquired the facility nearly a decade ago.”

In 2018, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Saturn Petcare up to $1.375 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, so until employees are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The IEDC also offered up to $1.96 million in conditional tax credits from the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit (DINO) program, which provides an incentive to invest in former industrial sites and improve quality of place in Indiana communities. The Vigo County Council and the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission approved additional incentives at the request of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation.

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