The Fallout From Aver Informatics’ Reported Move from WI to OH

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Madison-based Wisconsin Investment Partners; Oshkosh, WI-based Angels on the Water; Al Zeise, CEO of De Pere, WI-based IT company ZyQuest; Jeff Harris, a former Apogent Technologies executive; and Shannon.

WEDC has verified that $389,250 in tax credits have been claimed by Aver’s early investors, out of a possible $525,000 approved for the company, Maley said.

But if a company relocates more than half of its employees or operations outside the state within three years of a tax credit-eligible investment, the company—not the investors—must pay the state a refund of between 60 percent and 100 percent of each individual investment, depending on when the investments were made.

WEDC estimates that Aver would be on the hook for about $267,000, if it closes its Wisconsin operations before October, Maley said.

Shannon would be surprised if Aver relocated its Green Bay staff before that cutoff date. As far as he is aware, Brenkus is the only Wisconsin employee who has gone to Columbus.

“When I talked to Kurt last, he was looking for temporary housing in Columbus,” Shannon said. “He clearly thought it was temporary so he could get acclimated to [Drive’s] system.”

If Aver eventually pulls out of Wisconsin, it would be a loss for local economic development. But the flip side is that the move could still be a win for Wisconsin investors and the local startup scene if Aver grows faster in Columbus and achieves a bigger exit through an acquisition or going public.

“At the end of the day, if they do feel that it’s the best business decision to move to Columbus and that it becomes the multi-hundred million or billion-dollar company that they hope for, those of us investors that still have a substantial amount of our money in Aver will be redeploying [the returns] in Wisconsin anyway,” Shannon said.

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Jeff Bauter Engel is Deputy Editor, Tech at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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