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Teacher fund to invest in Osceola steel mill

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 4, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.

— Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Trustees have agreed to invest in the planned $1 billion Big River Steel LLC mill in Osceola.

Trustees briefly discussed the project in their Monday meeting before approving the investment on a voice vote.

System Director George Hopkins told members the investment doesn’t rely on a middleman who would claim a portion of profits. Member Danny Knight said the board regularly helps finance projects outside of Arkansas and that it should be eager to back an in-state endeavor.

Hopkins says a due diligence study the panel used was made through a contract made by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, which is exempt from the state public records law.

The project still needs the Legislature to sign off on a $125 million loan.

Comments on: Teacher fund to invest in Osceola steel mill

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

Jackabbott says... February 4, 2013 at 1:05 p.m.

These folks better make sure that they are covered if the plant is closed or the company goes bankrupct.
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina just a few years ago, the city, county and the state of North Carolina provided millions of dollars in incenives etc to Dell Computer out of Texas to build and open a plant to employ 2,000 people. The plant was shut down by Dell before it was even fully operational and the jobs moved to China and Mexico. The
officials there in NC were smart enough to have "clawback" provisions to get their money back except for highway prep work.
Buyer beware. Risks like this are the province of private enterprise not pension funds or revenue from tax dollars. There have to be provisions to re-claimr the money if the deal, plant or the sompany goes under.

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Populist says... February 4, 2013 at 1:56 p.m.

The due diligence is exempt from public review? This is beginning to stink more and more. If this was a legitimate deal, there should have not been a rush.

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Populist says... February 4, 2013 at 4:39 p.m.

Oh, they briefly discussed a $60 million investment and approved the investment on a voice vote. How cavalier.

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1soni says... February 4, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.

Populist - Hey, Bubba over at AEDC said these are good ol' boys and deservin of that-there teacher fund money. Shoot, if 'n the teacher fund goes under, maybe we can git rid of them teacher unions.

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