LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) – The state of Louisiana has reached a settlement with Bell Helicopter over an economic development deal that never took off in Lafayette.
The Daily Advertiser reports Bell Helicopter is required to pay the state about $9.5 million in cash. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson also told the newspaper that the state will keep a helicopter valued at $4 million.
The deal with Bell Helicopter was highly touted when announced by former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration in 2013, but Louisiana leaders severed ties with Bell Helicopter when it failed to meet hiring goals. The company moved its operations to Amarillo, Texas, last year.
Louisiana leaders have since turned to Switzerland-based Kopter Group AG to build helicopters in Lafayette. The company is expected to start assembling aircraft there in 2021.