Chris Bowles Quoted in Memphis Business Journal on West Tennessee Lease Agreement

Memphis Business Journal

Media Mention

Bradley partner Chris Bowles was quoted in the Memphis Business Journal on a recent lease agreement in West Tennessee. The Megasite Authority of West Tennessee board of directors met on Feb. 17 and approved a 30-year lease agreement with the state of Tennessee and Ford Motor Co. for the Blue Oval City project. A 3,600-acre campus in Stanton -- northeast of Memphis -- will hold a battery manufacturing plant, supplier park, and Ford assembly plant to produce the company's F-series all-electric trucks at the megasite. The battery plant will be operated by BlueOvalSK, a joint venture of Ford and SK Innovation.

Bowles stated that under the facility lease and accountability agreement, Ford and SK Innovation are required to create at least 90% of the committed 5,760 jobs in connection with the state's $500 million capital grant. If less than 5,184 jobs are produced within 10 years, both Ford and SK must pay back a portion of the grant plus $175 million, which represents the value of the land donated, according to the lease.

"We thought to ourselves, 'What protections does the state have if either the joint venture or Ford default on the obligation to repay?'" Bowles said. "It's not what we expect to happen, but these sorts of things we have to worry and think about."

The original article, “Megasite Authority of West Tennessee board gives green light to Ford's Blue Oval City lease agreement,” appeared in the Memphis Business Journal on February 23, 2022.