FINDLAY -- The unveiling of the new Marathon Petroleum Corp. sign Thursday in Findlay meant more than just the revealing of a developing company -- it marks job retention, job creation, and the hopes of a blossoming economy for the region, Gov. John Kasich said.
The governor's remarks were made at a ceremony marking the spin-off of Marathon Petroleum from Marathon Oil Corp. in Houston.
He touted Marathon's new independence and subsequent expansion as the beginning of job growth in Findlay and a larger Ohio region.
"Marathon is a company that looks toward the future," he said. "You think about all the families that benefit because of the presence and strength of this corporation."
State incentives were one of three factors that Gary Heminger, Marathon Petroleum's chief executive officer, cited for the company deciding to stay in northwest Ohio.
The others were the infrastructure of the firm, which includes an imposing headquarters on South Main Street, and a flood remediation project underway by the city.
Mr. Heminger said job retention and creation also were part of the decision to stay put. Marathon Petroleum Thursday became the largest company in northwest Ohio and fifth largest oil refiner in the country with $62.5 billion in sales last year.
Mr. Heminger said he expects to add 100 jobs this year at the headquarters.
Thursday night, Mr. Kasich signed a two-year, $55.8 billion state budget. He said more firms like Marathon are choosing to stay in Ohio because no taxes were increased to balance what was once an $8 billion deficit.
"This budget has shaken people in the business community to the point where they say, you know, this government is for real," he said.
Marathon Petroleum's headquarters could improve Findlay's economy by bringing traffic to businesses and drawing new industries. Marathon has more than 1,600 employees in its three-building headquarters and a separate leased facility. It has almost 26,000 employees nationwide, more than 18,000 of whom work at its Speedway gas stations.
After Mr. Heminger's speech, the new Marathon Petroleum Corp. sign above the entrance facing Hardin Street was unveiled.
"Marathon is just part of the family, it's something you expect," Mr. Kasich said. "Losing Marathon would be like blowing a hole in the community."
Shares of the new Marathon Petroleum Corp. began trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MPC."
The new stock began advance trading of "when issued" shares late last week and traded at $41.40 a share Thursday. Private brokerage clients bought the stock at a set price and will receive the shares when trading begins on the stock exchange.
Marathon Petroleum has the authority to issue 1 billion shares of common stock and 30 million shares of preferred stock, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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