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Officials say they’re working to convince Emerson to stay in St. Louis

An Emerson exit from St. Louis would mark a devastating blow to a region that has counted the industrial giant among its biggest corporate citizens for decades.

Economic development officials said late Monday they have started working with Emerson Electric to convince it to keep its headquarters in St. Louis after the Ferguson-based industrial giant announced earlier in the day it plans to sell its headquarters and consider sites both in St. Louis and elsewhere for its new home.

Jason Hall, CEO of nonprofit economic development group Greater St. Louis Inc., said he spoke with Emerson President and CEO Lal Karsanbhai on Monday morning about the company's plans and that they "reflected on some of the positive moves Greater St. Louis Inc.” has made since its launch in 2021, including the addition of a nonstop flight to Europe and the region's winning of a $25 million grant in the federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

"Lal and his team have been actively engaged in the work of Greater St. Louis Inc. as a founding member and I appreciate his partnership," Hall said in a statement. “I shared with him our belief that the St. Louis metro continues to the best location for Emerson’s future and that Greater St. Louis Inc. would immediately begin working with partners to make that case as the company goes through its process. St. Louis has tremendous post-pandemic momentum. But we compete in a global market for talent and investment. All of us in St. Louis must work together with urgency to capitalize proactively on our strengths and roll up our sleeves to address our challenges. Our future depends upon it.”

Emerson, which has nearly 1,300 employees based in St. Louis, announced Monday the plans to sell its headquarters as part of a deal it inked to sell a majority stake in its Climate Technologies business to private equity giant Blackstone.

RELATED: Emerson selling Ferguson headquarters, will consider a new home outside St. Louis

Emerson said it will sell ownership of its campus at 8000 W. Florissant Ave. to the joint venture that will own Climate Technologies, with plans to sign a three-year lease. The lease includes a two-year option to continue operating from certain buildings at the site as Emerson undergoes a "comprehensive assessment" of potential new headquarters locations. 

Karsanbhai told the St. Louis Business Journal that Emerson will explore potential headquarters locations both in St. Louis and elsewhere, though he did not disclose what other markets it may consider.

“Ultimately, the decision on the headquarters location will be made based on the best strategic interest of the company,” Karsanbhai said.

An Emerson exit from St. Louis, if completed, would mark a devastating blow to a region that has counted the industrial giant among its biggest corporate citizens for decades. 

While Emerson has operations across the globe, it has been headquartered in St. Louis since its founding in 1890 and is one of the largest corporate philanthropists in the region. 

Emerson reported total sales of $19.6 billion in fiscal 2022.

Click here to read the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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