C&F to invest €7.8m in new US plant
C&F GROUP, the Galway-based international contract manufacturer, is poised to invest up to $11m (€7.8m) in order to establish its first facility in the United States, where it could employ as many as 450 people.
It's understood the company, which is headed by founder John Flaherty, has identified a suitable factory in Tennessee that was previously operated by Fiat subsidiary Magneti Marelli. It's believed to be still in final negotiations with the local economic development board, which is offering a $500,000 (€355,000) incentive in the form of free rent on the factory for the first 20 months of operations.
A decision is expected within weeks and expectations are that the C&F manufacturing facility could be operational by the end of the year if it agrees to site a plant there.
Ray Leavy, the director of renewables at C&F, directed enquiries to Mr Flaherty, who could not be contacted for comment yesterday.
Mr Flaherty, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner in 2008, co-founded C&F in 1989 and the company has enjoyed significant success as a contract manufacturer.
It has major automotive clients including BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo, while it also manufactures for industry leaders such as Thermo King. Clients also include blue-chip giants such as IBM and EMC, for which C&F makes items such as data centre rack systems and set-top boxes.
The company has facilities in China, the UK, the Czech Republic and the Philippines and employs close to 1,000 people.
Last year, it won a new contract in China that doubled its business there.
C&F employs more than 200 people at a major centre in Athenry, Galway. In 2009 it announced a significant €20m expansion of its wind turbine production that would result in an extra 280 jobs in Athenry.
It is thought the plans for the US manufacturing base will see C&F generate 90pc of its initial output there from automotive parts, but by the end of its third year half the production will involve the manufacture of wind turbines.
The 450 jobs target is expected to be reached within five years.