Henkel said it is working “fast and furious” to complete the relocation of its North American headquarters from Scottsdale, Arizona to Stamford, with plans to move in by the end of the summer.
“We’re looking at an August time frame,” Director of Corporate Communications Natalie Violi said of the move. The German consumer products company will be taking over three floors totaling 155,000 square feet at the BLT Financial Centre at 200 Elm St.
The move was spurred by Henkel’s acquisition of Wilton-based laundry and home-care items company The Sun Products Corp. last year for $3.6 billion, Violi said. With the Sun acquisition, Henkel became the second-largest player in the North American laundry segment, behind Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble. Henkel’s products include All, Snuggle and Sun.
While the company explored moving to other Connecticut cities, Violi said that Stamford was chosen for being home to other large companies, which include UBS, Pitney Bowes, Frontier Communications, NBC Sports and Hexcel. She also cited access to New York City and the presence of Interstate 95 as positives.
“It’s an exciting city and it has lots to offer for our employees,” Violi said, noting that about 400 people will be making the move from Scottsdale.
Henkel is also looking to add at least 250 jobs in the state.
The company is hiring for a variety of positions across its Connecticut locations, including in Rocky Hill, where it maintains its adhesive technologies and research and development departments, and in Trumbull, the location of a Sun Products R&D facility.
In February, the company announced that it was expanding its Trumbull presence by acquiring 24,000 square feet at 4 Trefoil Drive, adjacent to its existing R&D facility at 30 Trefoil Drive. Work there should be completed by early fall, Violi said.
Incentives were also a significant factor in the relocation to Connecticut. The move to Stamford involves a $50 million initiative, with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development providing financial support through the First Five Plus program with a 10-year, $20 million low-interest loan to support the project.
In addition, the company may be eligible for up to $5 million in tax credits through the Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credit program, which allows a dollar-to-dollar corporate tax credit of up to 100 percent of capital investment on eligible projects.
The hub of activity will be at the Stamford headquarters. Violi said the first floor would contain beauty care R&D, which will encompass a laboratory for the development and clinical testing of such products as Dial soap, Right Guard antiperspirant/deodorant, Schwarzkopf hair care and got2b styling products. The area will also include a learning center to develop and test product formulations and product packaging, a clinical testing facility and a “hair learning” salon.
“For example, consumers can come in and do testing on their hair with different colors and give feedback to us,” she said. “They can either do it in-house or take the product home with a survey.”
That area is planned to open in the early fourth quarter.
The fifth floor at 200 Elm will house Henkel’s beauty care division, while laundry and home care will be on the sixth floor. Each will include the relevant administrative departments such as accounting, legal and human resources.
Ideas about a grand opening event are still being bandied about, Violi said, “depending on the timing and what-have-you. We have a lot of balls in the air.”
The company should be placing its logo on the building’s exterior within the next couple of weeks, she said.