Ireland ‘Approved Grant Assistance’ to Randy Boyd’s Radio Systems Corporation

Randy Boyd

When Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd’s Knoxville based company, Radio Systems Corporation, announced in 2012 that it would be locating its European headquarters in Dundalk, Ireland, press reports at the time indicated that the government of Ireland would be providing financial incentives to the company as part of the deal.

In a September 25, 2012 press release, Boyd’s company acknowledged and expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the government of Ireland:

Expanding global pet product expert and manufacturer Radio Systems Corporation, has today announced the opening of a new European head office in Dundalk, Ireland following comprehensive market research and evaluation. The opening opening of the new head office will result in the creation of 56 new jobs over the next three years. The investment is supported by the Irish Government with the aid of IDA Ireland.

From January 1, 2013 Radio Systems PetSafe Europe Ltd will be fully operational and will base its European multilingual customer services centre, finance, order management, supply chain and human resources departments in Dundalk. Of the 56 jobs being created over the next three years 25 will be hired by the end of December.

“As our business continues to grow internationally, Radio Systems Corporation plans to make Ireland the centre of its European expansion, mirroring our structure in the USA,” Boyd said in that 2012 press release.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Irish Government and IDA Ireland for their assistance in the establishment of this operation and I look forward to the growth of our business in Ireland and internationally,” Boyd added.

At the time of the 2012 announcement, the Irish Times also reported that Radio Systems’ agreement to locate its European headquarters in Dundalk was an “investment [is] supported by the Irish Government with the aid of IDA Ireland.”

Neither Ireland’s Department of Business and Innovation (BEI), IDAIreland, nor Radio Systems Corporation would confirm to The Tennessee Star the full amount of financial assistance provided to Radio Systems Corporation.

Financial assistance to American companies locating in Ireland can come in many forms, ranging from tax haven benefits that American corporations use to transfer taxable income earned elsewhere to low tax rate Ireland, to outright cash contributions, to various other financial instruments, including lines of credit and other forms of debt.

Ireland’s Department of  Business, Enterprise and Innovation (BEI) has confirmed to The Tennessee Star that Boyd’s company, Radio Systems Corporation, is a client of IDAIreland. IDAIreland is no longer a fixed department within the Irish government after legislation allowed it to morph into “an autonomous state-sponsored body” responsible for economic development. It is comparable in many ways to Tennessee’s Department of Economic & Community Development (ECD) but it remains unclear to what degree IDAIreland is accountable to public inquiries.

IDAIreland chose not to provide any of the information requested by The Tennessee Star about the details of the assistance provided to Boyd’s company as it established operations in Dundalk.

The Irish government’s BEI, however, confirmed that Boyd’s company established its European headquarters in Dundalk, County Louth, and was “approved grant assistance by IDA, but to date has not drawn down any of the grants approved.”

It’s not clear whether the government’s pledge of financial assistance can be collateralized by Radio Systems Corporation for further expansion either in Ireland or in other locations.

In an emailed statement BEI told The Star that Boyd’s company office in Dundalk currently employs between 20 and 30 people. That number falls well short of the 56 jobs promised by 2016 when the deal was originally announced in 2012.  It is not unusual for companies that receive financial incentive packages from governments, either in the United States or elsewhere, to fall short in delivering the number of jobs promised at the beginning of the deal.

Dundalk is one of the cities targeted by the government for concentrated development under a National Spatial Strategy plan.

The Dundalk Chamber of Commerce describes the city as “one of the largest urban centres in Ireland and primed to become Ireland’s first new city of the 21st Century” with a population within a 30 mile radius of slightly over 400,000. That’s about twice the size of Boyd’s hometown of Knoxville, but  smaller than Nashville.

BEI said it welcomed the decision by Radio Systems Corporation to locate in Dundalk:

The decision to set up in Dundalk was welcomed by this Department. Dundalk as a town has been transformed in recent years by the work of the Government and the IDA in securing new projects for the town.  This Department [BEI] and the IDA actively encourage companies to invest in regional locations and are targeting a 30-40% increase in investment outside of Dublin by 2019.  The Government is well on its way to achieving this target. The town is now a hub for a range of sectors. The numbers employed by the foreign companies here have risen from 1,300 in 2010 to close to 4,000 currently. Companies like National Pen, PayPal, Xerox, Wasdell and Prometric have set up in the town and recently WuXi Biologics announced a €300 million investment in the town.

The Tennessee Star asked the Boyd campaign about his company’s decision to locate in Ireland, specifically, why the company chose to locate its European headquarters in Dundalk, why the planned staffing of the Dundalk office has not been accomplished, and why did the company feel compelled to ship these jobs out of Tennessee instead of establishing this part of the company’s operation in the state?

No responses have been received.



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5 Thoughts to “Ireland ‘Approved Grant Assistance’ to Randy Boyd’s Radio Systems Corporation”

  1. […] would be providing financial incentives to the company as part of the deal,” The Star reported last […]

  2. Wolf Woman

    La Raza Randy sees himself as a globalist and, from his actions, we can tell he is. So if he were our governor, would he sell Tennessee out in the global market if he could make a buck off the deal at a later date? Like the question of tax havens. Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. Nicholas Thornton Cratton

    TN ECD Commish Randy Boyd created ‘slush funding’
    with Barack Obama’s Department of Housing

    In the waning term of President Barack Obama, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, had lost track of any unspent balance$ allocated to the Community Development Block Grant, CDBG, program in Tennessee. In 2016, under then-Commissioner RANDY BOYD this accounting for CDBG was also lost by TN Economic and Community Development, TNECD. The unaccounted funds were in the 10-20’s of Million$.

    Through a series of meetings in 2016 and very early 2017 a “Substantial Amendment” was arranged to fund the losing FY16 CDBG applications AND it provided for a ‘Slush Fund List’ of projects for FY17. These special projects were NOT subject to priority ranking or competitive applications, but perhaps targeted for Randy Boyd’s political gain in the west (ex. Big Chicken, megaSprawl….).

    During his failed sales pitches to hundreds of foreign corporations for any factory tenants at the proposed megasite, Commish Randy Boyd arranged for, ONE FORTH, ¼, of the Statewide CDBG Substantial Amendment ‘slush’ funds, to be funneled to Stanton, TN (population 452) in remote southwest Haywood County.

  4. Canoneer2

    Ireland is a corporate tax haven. The sort of thing that you and I can’t participate in as individual taxpayers. Offshore corporate profits don’t get taxed until they are “repatriated” to the U.S. while the individual is taxed on worldwide income in the year it is earned. That’s the game and Randy is playing. It would be nice to even the playing field, after all, “Corporations are People.”

  5. Ralph

    Where’s the fault here? His company expanded into a foreign market and chose a regional headquarters – the fact that Ireland provided financial incentives is not to be faulted either – they are seeking job growth for their citizens in competition with other regional countries. Ireland does have one of the lowest tax burden in the region and that is to be applauded, not criticized. Now, if he located in Ireland specifically to shelter profits from U.S. taxation, that’s a different story altogether – which is it?

    Mr. Boyd’s company outsourced manufacturing jobs to China and later engineering and research jobs to China – jobs that the good people of Tennessee could have benefited from. That is not in the same “basket” as establishing a regional headquarters and providing local opportunity for employment in a market where you are seeking to expand.

    We would expect no less from say, Nissan Motor, nor any other foreign-based company that is seeking market opportunities in this country. Mr. Boyd has much that makes him an unattractive candidate for Governor – on the surface, this isn’t part of that…unless, of course, it is nothing more than a tax dodge – again, that’s a different matter. Which is it?