Big Easy boomerang

International Shipholding Corp is getting ready to relocate its corporate headquarters from Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana.
ISC trades on the NYSE under the ticker

ISC trades on the NYSE under the ticker "ISH".

In a statement New York-listed ISC said “significant operations” will remain in Mobile, however, and indicated the move won't be sealed until the fourth quarter of 2015.

The company told investors its railcar repair facility and CG Railway terminal will not be relocated and pointed out it will also maintain “an active presence” in the city’s port.

According to local media outlets ISC opened its New Orleans headquarters in 1947 but was forced to relocate in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina.

In a statement Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was quick to point out that the move will create 100 new direct jobs at a 45 to 50,000-square-foot facility located in the city’s Warehouse District.

“[ISC] could have stayed in Mobile but they are coming back home because of our strong business climate, expanding industrial projects, resurgent New Orleans economy, and business growth along the Mississippi River,” Jindal said.

ISC chief Niels Johnsen said the Mississippi River will “once again play an important strategic role” for his company as a result of the move and noted its new location will aid in efforts to take advantage of “opportunities from the significant industrial investment being made in the state.”

Jindal, who acknowledged it was “hard work” to convince the shipowner to come home, said the process of courting the company began in 2011 when the state offered up an incentive package that included what he called “performance-based grants”.

The politician pointed out that Louisiana plans to give $5.17m to ISC to help offset the cost of opening up the new headquarters in New Orleans and another $5.1m to reimburse the company for expenses associated with the relocation from Mobile.

“Based upon [ISC's] plans to renovate a historic structure, the company could be eligible for a Restoration Tax Abatement incentive waiving property taxes on improvements to the structure for up to ten years,” the governor added.

Michael Hecht, president and chief executive of New Orleans Inc, an public-private partnership that promotes economic development in New Orleans and neighbouring parishes, applauded the homecoming as well.

“First, we are gaining 100 new direct jobs," he said. "But even more importantly International Shipholding’s return to New Orleans heralds a broader, deeply important trend – the best people and companies are coming home.”

Intl Shipholding Corp
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