September 20, 2018

IPG Photonics' tax break approved by state

Photo | Matt Pilon
The Oxford headquarters of IPG Photonics.

The tax break for IPG Photonics' planned $70 million expansion of its Oxford headquarters has been approved by the state.

The $1.5 million tax increment financing plan was approved Tuesday by the state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, according to Business Development Strategies, a Massachusetts government tax incentives consulting firm working on behalf of IPG.

The company is the town's largest employer at more than 1,500. About 400 jobs will be added via the expansion, but these plans are scaled back from what the company was previously proposing.

The laser company in the spring said it hoped to invest $215 million to add nearly 1 million square feet to the facility, including a 460,000-square-foot parking garage and 500,000-square-foot manufacturing and office building.

IPG in August purchased an abutting 75,000-square-foot manufacturing building formerly home to South Carolina company Technetics. That company is closing its Oxford facility, so IPG grabbed it in June for $26 million.

Now, the planned expansion is expected to cost only $70 million and the office and manufacturing space will be only 170,000 square feet. The parking garage will remain the same size.

The 400 new jobs is also a decrease from the company's original goal of 500 new workers in the small Central Massachusetts town.

According to Business Development Strategies, IPG employees are expected to spend $2 million annually supporting local businesses.

IPG Photonics reported record sales of $1.4 billion last year, but is expecting 2018 figures to miss the mark, citing global trade and geopolitical issues. The company's second quarter earnings report, in which the company updated shareholders on its scaled-back finances, caused the company's shares to plummet, losing $3 billion in shareholder value.

The council also tax breaks for three other Central Massachusetts businesses, including $1.4 million for Primetals Technologies as it prepares to build a $28 million Sutton facility, $245,000 for Medway's Spencer Technologies and $125,000 for Sturbridge's Hardline Heat Treating.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the price of the tax break for IPG Photonics. The previous figure noted, $8.6 million, referred to what the town expected to receive in new tax revenue as a result of the development.

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