North Carolina's Governor Mike Easley announced that China-invested Lenovo (LNVGY.PK) will use US$84 million to build a research and development center in his state, creating 400 new jobs during the next five years.

The expansion in the town of Morrisville is made possible in part by a $750,000 One North Carolina Fund grant and a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). The average salary of the jobs is $70,000 a year plus benefits. The county average for Wake County, where the center is to be located, is $39,572 excluding benefits.

Easley's office said, "If the company creates the jobs called for under the agreement and sustains them for 11 years, Lenovo could receive a maximum benefit of $8.4 million. In addition, the company is required to maintain its current employment level for the duration of the grant."

The new jobs will be mainly management, research and development, sales and marketing, engineering, finance and information technology positions. The jobs will bring Lenovo's total North Carolina workforce to more than 2,200 people.

For each year the company meets required performance targets, the state will provide a grant equivalent to 73% of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs. If the company creates the jobs called for under the agreement and sustains them for 11 years, Lenovo could receive a maximum benefit of $8.4 million. In addition, the company is required to maintain its current employment level for the duration of the grant.

Chinese holding company Legend claims a 41% stake in Lenovo, and the biggest shareholder in Legend is the state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has a 65% ownership of Legend.

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