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Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Plans $60M Big River Steel Investment

1 min read

LITTLE ROCK – A planned $1 billion mill by Big River Steel LLC in northeast Arkansas is expected to have a healthy economic impact on Osceola, and investors stand to do well, also.

Arkansas Teacher Retirement System Executive Director George Hopkins said Wednesday the fund’s board is planning to vote Monday on investing $60 million as the project raises startup cash.

Hopkins says the investment would generate a cash return and would give the fund equity in the project, providing a 40 percent return within five years. The investment represents about one-half of 1 percent of the fund’s $12.25 billion in assets.

The deal hinges on legislative approval of a $125 million bond issue.

The plant is planned for Mississippi County, which has struggled economically since Eaker Air Force Base closed in 1992.

Beebe to Speak on Project

Also Wednesday, a spokesman said Gov. Mike Beebe has agreed to speak with members of the state Senate next week about the bond issue for the plant.

Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux said he wanted the Senate to hold a “committee of the whole” meeting on Monday so lawmakers could ask questions about the project.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.)

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