Newton’s mayor and Iowa Department of Economic Development officials had their first, face-to-face meeting with Whirlpool executives on Thursday. The meeting, in Chicago, lasted about two hours according to Newton Mayor Chaz Allen. “It was a listen-only meeting about Iowa and the City of Newton’s positive business climate,” Allen says.
He calls the meeting a “great beginning” for a relationship with Whirlpool if the Department of Justice approves the appliance-maker’s plans to buy Maytag. Whirlpool executives say the acquisition of Maytag could close before the end of March. A spokesperson for Governor Tom Vilsack says Whirlpool execs were unable to discuss specifics yesterday, but seemed to welcome the chance to learn about existing state programs for businesses.