With North Carolina business recruiters reportedly in competition with a site near Atlanta for the plant, Herbalife's business model "didn't make any difference at all," said Bob Leak, president of Winston-Salem Business Inc., a local business recruitment nonprofit.
"They make a product. They're a New York Stock Exchange company. They're $4 billion in sales. They've been around for 30-plus years," Leak said. "They're buying a building here. They're going to hire people and invest money and that's what we're about is trying to create jobs and investment and the company will do that."
Herbalife said it expects to close a deal to buy the former Dell plant for $22.2 million before the month is out. The company then expects to invest more than $100 million on machinery and to retrofit the building to comply with standards for producing dietary supplements and food products.
Dell was offered more than $300 million in incentives in 2004 to choose the North Carolina site for its computer assembly plant. Most state incentives were never paid, and Dell repaid local governments $26 million in upfront incentives.
Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio