Bridgestone Consolidation to Impact Indiana

Posted: Updated:

The U.S. subsidiary of the world's largest tire company has announced a major reorganization plan that includes moving Carmel-based divisions to a new headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. Bridgestone Americas Inc. says the consolidation includes its Firestone Building Products LLC and Firestone Industrial Products Company LLC operations, which employ 400 central Indiana workers. In all, Bridgestone's plans involve relocating 600 employees from Indiana and Illinois. November 12, 2014

Firestone Building Products and Firestone Industrial Products Statement Regarding Headquarters Relocation:

Bridgestone Americas, parent company for Firestone Building Products Company, LLC and Firestone Industrial Products Company, LLC has announced plans to establish a new corporate headquarters to be built in downtown Nashville, Tenn. When the new facility opens in fall of 2017, both Firestone companies, now located in Indianapolis, Ind., will relocate to Nashville.

The decision to relocate our headquarters was not made lightly. The Indianapolis area has been a great place for our teammates to live and work. While we will miss Indiana and our community partners here, we are looking forward to the opportunity to work more closely with our teammates from other parts of the company.

November 12, 2014

News Release

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 11, 2014) - Bridgestone Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company, today announced plans to relocate its headquarters to downtown Nashville in a newly constructed facility slated for completion in mid-to-late 2017. The new headquarters will house more than 1,700 employees - 1,100 currently based in Nashville and 600 more jobs from three out-of-state

business units that are being relocated to the city.

Gary Garfield, CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas, was joined at a press conference by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam; Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner, Bill Hagerty; Nashville Mayor, Karl Dean; Nashville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Ralph Schulz; and Highwoods Properties President and CEO, Ed Fritsch.

"Uniting teammates from our core business units in one location is fundamental to continuing to build a bright, sustainable future for our company," said Garfield. "Under one roof, we will increase collaboration, innovation and growth across our lines of business. Current and future teammates will benefit by being part of an exciting and motivating workplace culture intensely focused on meeting the needs of those who buy our products and services."

The business units moving to the new headquarters represent world-leading tire brands; the world’s largest automotive retail and service operations; a worldwide leader in commercial roofing and building products; and a global leader in vehicle and equipment air spring technology.

“We are grateful for Bridgestone’s ongoing commitment to Tennessee,” Haslam said. “This is one of our state’s best known brands and a company that would be more than welcome anywhere in the world. It says a lot for our state that Bridgestone Americas is building a new headquarters and creating more than 600 new jobs here. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the company in the years to come.”

“We received world-class receptions and very competitive offers from several major cities,” continued Garfield. “At the end of the day, Nashville prevailed. The city offers a great quality of life and low business costs, with a reasonable cost of living for our teammates. Downtown Nashville is vibrant and growing. And the support and leadership shown by the State of Tennessee, Nashville Metro government and the Tennessee Valley Authority really made our decision clear.”

“Tennessee consistently ranks as the top state in automotive manufacturing strength, and when a thriving company like Bridgestone Americas chooses to broaden its home base in Tennessee, it further solidifies our position as the epicenter of the new Southern Automotive Corridor,” Hagerty said. “As a state, we strive to show Tennessee companies that we are a brand that supports their brand. I could not be more pleased with Bridgestone Americas’ decision to relocate its new headquarters to downtown Nashville, and I applaud the company for providing these jobs to our state’s superior workforce.”

Subject to approvals from the Nashville Metropolitan Council, Industrial Development Board and the State, the planned 514,000-square-foot, 30-story headquarters building, located at 4th Avenue S. and Demonbreun Street, will break ground in early 2015 with planned occupancy in the third quarter of 2017. Bridgestone Americas selected Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW), to develop the Company’s new headquarters. Global architecture firm Perkins + Will has been retained by Highwoods and Bridgestone to design the new facility and tenant improvements, which are expected to be LEED-certified at the Gold level and reflect best practices in workplace space design. Upon completion, the facility will be one of the largest and tallest corporate headquarters buildings in Nashville. Financial terms are not being disclosed by Bridgestone.

"Bridgestone Americas has been one of our signature companies for many years, and Nashville is proud to be their partner as they invest even more in our community by building a new headquarters and bringing 600 new jobs here," Dean said. "Bridgestone was ready to join its businesses under one roof, either here or in some other city. So, this means 1,700 employees who might have worked elsewhere will be contributing to our economy instead by working, living, eating and shopping here. This is huge for Nashville."

Ed Fritsch commented, "It is an honor to have been selected by Bridgestone Americas to build their new corporate headquarters in Nashville. We are extremely fortunate to be working with such a highly-regarded company that has a rich heritage and collaborative corporate culture, and we are proud to be part of the team that is making a significant investment in enhancing downtown Nashville. We thank Bridgestone Americas for their trust in Highwoods, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship."

Bridgestone has outgrown its current leased headquarters facility on Marriott Drive near Nashville International Airport. With its lease expiring in late 2017, the company launched an extensive search for a new headquarters location to support future growth. The new headquarters will be home to Bridgestone Americas' corporate staff and supporting functions, as well as Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC; Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC; Firestone Building Products Company, LLC; and Firestone Industrial Products Company, LLC. Nashville was selected after a nationwide search by a Bridgestone team that included leaders from multiple business units and functional areas.

"We're excited to continue the discussion with the Nashville Metro Council and Industrial Development Board, as well as the State, to make this project a reality. Locating here makes perfect sense, given Bridgestone's existing strong presence in and deep ties to Nashville and Middle Tennessee. And, I know that our Nashville-based teammates will look forward to welcoming their teammates to a new home in a city they love," said Garfield.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading o