Most notably Mayor Allen Joines:
Joines said he is aware of some local concern about Herbalife’s financial status, given the decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct an inquiry into its business practices and the departure of a large independent distributor.
Part of Joines’ confidence is that Herbalife must meet investment and job creation criteria before beginning to qualify for a combined $3.44 million in local incentives. The local contracts also have “claw-back” clauses, as did the Dell Inc. contracts, that require Herbalife to pay back whatever incentives it receives if it closes the plant within five years.
“We will monitor the situation, but our primary concern is the long-term viability of the company,” Joines said.
“Given the 28 year history of the company and the fact that the N.C. Attorney General did not uncover any issues, I remain positive about the project.
“However, if something substantive is reported, we will respond as appropriate.”
Local financial adviser Bowman Gray IV adds Winston-Salem’s economic development team “has worked very hard, and I don’t think they believe for a second that a company with a market cap of over $4 billion was not legitimate.”
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