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Biomet Inc.
Business: The company designs, manufactures and markets orthopedic devices and surgical instruments, with about half of sales related to hip and knee products.
Headquarters: Warsaw
Locations: More than 50, supporting distribution in more than 90 countries
Founded: 1977
Employees: Almost 9,000
Ownership: Private-equity firms The Blackstone Group; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.; and TPG
Fiscal 2013 net sales: More than $3 billion
Proposed stock symbol: BMET
File photo

Biomet growth plan to add 150 jobs

Incentives for $40.5 million expansion pass 1st hurdle

Biomet Inc. plans to invest $40.5 million in a Warsaw expansion that would create 150 high-paying jobs by 2018.

The company’s annual payroll will increase by almost $11.3 million after the additional workers are hired. The jobs are projected to pay $75,000 a year on average and will be added in stages, according to paperwork prepared by the company.

It’s unclear what types of jobs are being created. A company spokesman couldn’t be reached Friday.

Richard Fradette, Biomet’s global vice president of finance, presented the project on Thursday evening to the Kosciusko County Council, which unanimously voted to move the request for incentives to the next step in the process, according to the Kosciusko Economic Development Corp.

A public hearing will be in April. The council will vote on the request sometime after the hearing.

Biomet officials said the project will go forward only if county and state tax breaks and other incentives are approved. Securing such approvals has been largely a formality for employers with large investment plans, however, especially for employers looking to expand existing operations.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. in August 2010 approved almost $3 million in tax credits and training grants for Biomet, which announced plans to create 278 jobs at that time. Kosciusko County approved additional incentives on the $26 million investment.

Biomet’s new project calls for spending $40.5 million on capital improvements including building renovations and 3-D printing and optical scanning technology.

The project also includes upgrades to Biomet’s Global Center of Excellence, the program that allows surgeons interested in introducing a new product, technology or technique to explore the idea with an expert.

George Roberson, president of the Kosciusko Economic Development Corp., on Friday was enthusiastic about the prospect of a significant investment by a major employer.

“We’re pretty happy about it,” he said.

Biomet is one of the Big Three orthopedic companies based in Warsaw. Kosciusko County’s orthopedic industry players combined to produce a $3.7 billion impact on the economy in 2009, according to study results released in 2011.

The expansion news comes one week after the orthopedic devices manufacturer filed paperwork for an initial public stock offering.

In 2007, a private-equity consortium paid $11.4 billion for Biomet. Before that, company shares traded on the Nasdaq stock market.

LVB Acquisition Inc. will change its name to Biomet Group Inc. before the offering closes.

Some decisions have not yet been announced, including the IPO’s date, number of shares and price range.

Company officials plan to use IPO proceeds to pay down debt. As of Nov. 30, Biomet had $5.9 billion in long-term debt and $176 million in cash and cash equivalents, according to the filing.

The company’s fiscal year ends May 31. Nov. 30 was the end of its second fiscal quarter.