Source AP ©

3M turns to offshore operations

Conglomerate 3M Co. will move more of its operations to low-tax locations outside the U.S.

Chief Financial Officer Pat Campbell, speaking during the company's investor-day event Tuesday, said the move is designed to help 3M achieve a tax rate of 30.5 percent by 2012, a reduction of about 2.5 percent. His comments were broadcast over the Internet.

The bulk of 3M facilities are located in the U.S. now, but Campbell said that will change.

He said more manufacturing plants will be located in low-tax overseas locations with convenient shipping access to high-growth markets. He also said more of 3M's technical resources and business units will expand or migrate overseas.

An estimated 2.5 percent reduction in annual tax rate equates to $150 million (106.86 million EUR) to $200 million (142.48 million EUR) in 3M earnings. Campbell added that the 2.5 percent reduction is a minimum goal.