Company fails to create jobs, loses abatement

City officials have rescinded a tax break given to a United Kingdom-based company that located its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Greenwood.

In 2007, the city gave Keronite Inc. a standard 10-year tax break when the company moved into a 13,000-square-foot building at 2011 Southtech Drive, in Southtech Park near Interstate 65 and Main Street.

The company was given the abatement based on conditions negotiated with the city of Greenwood. Keronite was supposed to retain its four employees from the company’s Indianapolis office and add 25 jobs at its new manufacturing location.

The 25 jobs would have created more than $1 million in payroll at an average salary of $40,000, but as of this past June, Keronite had not added jobs by the sixth year of the abatement, Greenwood legal counsel Krista Taggart said.

The company specializes in a metal treatment process that transforms surfaces of light alloys into corrosion resistant ceramics. The company expanded to Indiana in hopes of getting involved with auto racing circuits such as IndyCar, city council member Bruce Armstrong said.

Along with creating jobs, Keronite agreed to invest $489,200 in manufacturing equipment, $83,000 in research and development and $45,000 in technology, Taggart said.

As of June, less than $200,000 had been invested, Taggart said.

The Greenwood City Council asked Keronite officials to discuss its progress toward its goals, but the company declined to meet and took the rare step of asking the city to rescind the tax break.

The company told the city that money had not been invested and jobs were not added because the project and manufacturing goals did not solidify and its business plan had failed, according to a letter from Keronite finance director Ian Campbell.

The letter said that the company has no plan to leave Greenwood. In 2013, Keronite extended its lease for another seven years. Currently, the company is looking into a new business plan and is working with a helicopter manufacturer that will result in an increase in employment.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.