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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Under Romney's Bain Capital, Dade Behring received millions in tax breaks before it laid off hundreds

In advance of Mitt Romney's fundraising swing through Florida tomorrow Democrats are highlighting one of the business ventures of Bain Capital while Romney was in charge: Dade Behring, which, saddled with debt, wound up shuttering two medical technologies facilities in Miami. Some 850 jobs were lost, while Bain walked away with $242-million - an 800 percent return on its investment

The Dade Behring case has been well-documented, but here's a new wrinkle: The company under Bain's leadership sought and received millions of dollars in tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico - shortly before closing it's facilities, costing nearly 300 jobs.

The company in 1997 received a $3-million federal tax break aimed to promoting job creation in Puerto Rico. It also received a $4.1-million tax exemption from Puerto Rick in 1997 in the name of job creation. Dade ceased its operations in Puerto Rico in the first quarter of 1998.

As a presidential candidate years later, Romney has voiced skepticism about tax breaks to promote job creation.

"When you give people special incentives just to hire new employees, of course you give them an incentive to let current employees go," Romney told CNN in December, 2009, criticizing the TARP funding.

In a Boston Globe op ed in 2010, Romney called for "eliminating special corporate tax breaks that lobbyists have inserted over the years," although he supports states offering incentives to attract businesses.

“We welcome a discussion about jobs and the economy. President Obama thinks that economic development means rewarding his donors with taxpayer money from the so-called stimulus," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. "It's no wonder he's failed to put Americans back to work or follow through on his promise to keep unemployment below 8%.  President Obama can't come close to matching the many years of experience that Mitt Romney has as a private businessman so he has chosen to attack the free market. But millions across this country are struggling and deserve a leader who understands who the economy works.”

Bain Capital released the following statement Tuesday: “In 1994, Bain Capital rescued a troubled business unit of Baxter International and over the next four years turned it into a successful, independent company.  Thanks to operational improvements, successful acquisitions and increased R&D investments in core products, Dade Behring's revenues and earnings doubled, and the company became the third largest in vitro diagnostics manufacturer in the world.  Unfortunately, a sudden change in currency exchange rates and an unforeseen delay in customer orders strained the company's financial position.  We supported the company through a brief, voluntary bankruptcy process in 2002 and helped position it for continued growth.  Today, Dade Behring is the world's largest clinical diagnostics company.  We understand that some may question our record for political purposes, but Bain Capital remains focused on building strong, enduring businesses.”


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:55pm]


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