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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2005

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY RETURNS INVESTMENT IN CHICAGOLAND COMPANY TO FUEL MAJOR ECONOMIC EXPANSION AND JOB CREATION

CHICAGO – Continuing to deliver on his pledge to invest in companies that invest in Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced significant Opportunity Returns support for United Stationers Inc. that will enable the wholesale distributor of business products to relocate, expand and improve its new corporate headquarters in Deerfield.  This will result in the creation of approximately 125 new jobs and the retention of more than 550 jobs over a two-year period.
 
“With its highly-skilled workforce, strategic location and tremendous quality of life, the Chicagoland area has the competitive strengths that make it a very inviting location for business.  Our goal is to make the kinds of investments that will capitalize on those competitive strengths and help fuel more vigorous economic growth and job creation.  In partnering with a dynamic Fortune 500 company like United Stationers to help expand its rapidly growing business, we’re taking another major step toward accomplishing that goal and fulfilling the enormous economic potential of this region,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
The company plans to handle its relocation of current employees in stages, beginning in the current quarter and completing the process by the third quarter of 2006. 
 
“We evaluated a number of alternatives for our corporate relocation before selecting the Deerfield location,” said Richard W. Gochnauer, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Stationers.  “We really appreciated having the support from the State on this important strategic initiative.  This partnership was a major consideration in our decision to locate our corporate headquarters in Deerfield.”                                                                               
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will provide the support for United Stationers.  DCEO will make available Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) 
tax credits based on job creation over a ten-year period, a Large Business Development Program (LBDP) grant and funding through its Employer Training Investment Fund to help train United Stationers’ workforce.
 
“Gov. Blagojevich and I will continue doing everything we can to keep our economy moving forward.  By partnering with United Stationers on this exciting expansion, we are not only bringing 125 new jobs to Deerfield but also a renewed sense of economic opportunity throughout the region,” State Senator Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) said.
                                                                                         
“Through key initiatives such as this one, we’re driving home the message that this region is a great place for a business to grow, expand and prosper.  Gov. Blagojevich continues to make the kinds of investments that are critical to fostering a healthy, diverse and vibrant economy,” said State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park).
 
United Stationers is the third major company to locate its headquarters in Deerfield over the last nine months as a result of Opportunity Returns investments.   In April, Gov. Blagojevich announced support for Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., which allowed the company to relocate, expand and improve its North American headquarter operations in Deerfield and create 500 new jobs.  Last October, Astellas Pharma Inc. announced that it would also be opening its North American headquarters in Deerfield.  The company’s headquarters is creating 75 new jobs and retaining 350 more jobs. 
 
“Supporting United Stationers’ new headquarters in Deerfield is a tremendous investment by Gov. Blagojevich that will pay immediate dividends by creating a significant number of new jobs, increasing economic activity in the area and strengthening the company’s operations.  This is a win-win for the economic vitality of the region,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.  
 
United Stationers Inc. is North America’s largest broad line wholesale distributor of business products, with sales for the trailing 12 months as of March 31, 2005 of approximately $4.1 billion.  Its integrated computer-based distribution systems make more than 40,000 items available to approximately 15,000 resellers.  United is able to ship products within 24 hours of order placement because of its 35 United Stationers Supply Co. distribution centers, 34 Lagasse distribution centers that serve the janitorial, sanitation, and foodservice disposables industries, two Azerty distribution centers in Mexico that serve computer supply resellers, and two distribution centers that serve the Canadian marketplace.  Its focus on fulfillment excellence has given the company an average order fill rate of better than 97%, a 99.5% order accuracy rate, and a 99% on-time delivery rate.  For more information, visit www.unitedstationers.com.
 
The company’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Stock MarketÒ under the symbol USTR.
 
Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – each with a regional team that is empowered and expected to rapidly respond to opportunities and challenges.  Opportunity Returns is about tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses.  It is about upgrading the skills of the local workforce, increasing the access to capital, opening new markets, improving infrastructure, and creating and retaining jobs.  Opportunity Returns is about successfully partnering with companies and communities, both large and small, to help all of Illinois reach its economic potential.


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