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Illinois considers tax breaks to keep ADM headquarters in state

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co would receive tax breaks to keep its headquarters in Illinois under new legislation being considered in the state.

Illinois Rep. John Bradley, a Democrat from down state Marion, Ill., introduced legislation on Friday that would give ADM a 10 percent discount on utility taxes for up to 30 years if it does not move its head office out of state. ADM also would receive credits on some income taxes.

ADM said last week it was scouting locations for new corporate headquarters because the company is becoming more global. Its headquarters have been located in Decatur, Ill., about three hours south of Chicago, for the past 44 years.

ADM is "holding discussions with various public officials" about the new headquarters, spokesman David Weintraub said on Monday. He did not have an estimate for how much money the tax incentives in Bradley's bill could save the company.

"We are aware that the bill was introduced," Weintraub said.

Bradley could not immediately be reached for comment. A legislative committee that he chairs is set to hold a hearing on tax credits in Chicago on Tuesday.

ADM is one of four large players known as the "ABCD" companies that dominate the flow of agricultural goods around the world. The others are Bunge Ltd, Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Corp.

ADM has said it plans to relocate about 100 existing jobs to its new headquarters and create a technology center at the location that will add about 100 new jobs over several years. Officials from Chicago have talked to ADM about moving the headquarters to the city.

About 4,400 employees will continue to work in Decatur, which will become ADM's North American headquarters.

Illinois lawmakers approved tax breaks in 2011 for Sears Holdings Corp and exchange-operator CME Group Inc when they threatened to move out of state.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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