GE Healthcare Moving Headquarters to Chicago from United Kingdom

GE, relocation, Naperville business attorneyIn recent years, the state of Illinois has come under fire as a relatively unfriendly environment for businesses. Surveys and rankings—which tend to focus on factors most relevant to small businesses—have repeatedly listed Illinois as a difficult location for small companies due to complex and expensive licensing procedures and less available support for would-be entrepreneurs. As a business planning attorney in Illinois, I regularly help business owners navigate these complicated processes, and, despite the difficulties, have assisted many in building new, thriving enterprises.

It seems, however, that not all businesses are shying away from Illinois. On the other end of the spectrum, one of the world’s largest and most recognized companies recently announced plans to move one of its division headquarters to the region. GE Healthcare, part of the multinational conglomerate General Electric, will soon be relocating its executive base to Chicago, according to an announcement made by the company earlier this month. As a whole, GE is no stranger to the area, with other divisions already present in Arlington Heights and Barrington.

Welcome Home GE

GE Healthcare CEO John L. Flannery said in the announcement that the relocation from Amersham, near London, England, “puts us closer to our customers in the U.S.” and that Chicago is an ideal choice for several reasons. First, the city’s status as an international travel hub makes access to the area relatively easy. The city is also home to a robust health care sector and a strong academic presence.

Those with a more nostalgic viewpoint may realize that one of the earliest versions of the company that would become GE Healthcare had its roots in Chicago as well. Victor Electric, which began as an X-ray company, was founded on Dearborn Street in the 1890s.

There have been no reports of financial incentives or deals offered by the city, and it is unclear if any were offered by the state. Both Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner—despite their political differences—have expressed their support for the move, with Emanuel seeing the news to be “another vote of confidence in Chicago’s economic future.”

Pending Logistical Details

Flannery has not released full details of the company’s plan as of yet, and it is uncertain exactly how many jobs would be brought to the city as a result. He did say, however, that only the senior executive leadership team would be moving from the UK. Reports indicate that the new headquarters will be located in the 500 West Monroe building, occupying space currently being leased by GE Transportation, another subsidiary. The move is expected to be completed by end of the first half of 2016.

Moving Your Business

Relocating a business, no matter how big or small, can be a challenging endeavor. If you are contemplating a move for your company, it is vital to be fully prepared for the process. Contact an experienced Naperville business attorney today to discuss your goals and to develop a workable plan. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a consultation with The Gierach Law Firm and get the help you need.



Washington Monthly

Crain’s Chicago Business

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