This story has been updated with additional details about the project.
GRAND RAPIDS — Perrigo Co. plc is relocating its North American corporate headquarters to downtown Grand Rapids, MiBiz has learned.
The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant Tuesday for the pharmaceutical company’s development. Perrigo plans to invest nearly $44.8 million in the project and expects to create 170 new jobs.
Perrigo plans to start hiring in early 2021 for the new Grand Rapids location at 430 Monroe Ave. NW, which will be a new 63,550-square-foot building in Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park along Medical Mile. Grand Rapids was in competition with potential sites in Chicago and southwestern Florida, economic development officials said. The city is expected to consider property tax incentives for the project, which will be built by Rockford Construction.
“This headquarters announcement solidifies the competitive advantage Grand Rapids provides to global companies like Perrigo,” Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said in a statement. “We look forward to their investment and its impact in Grand Rapids and the West Michigan region.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement the project “underscores the strength of Michigan’s business climate and our talented workforce. This is great news for Michigan workers, their families and our economy as we continue to move forward with economic recovery and growth here in our state.”
The company still plans to keep its presence in Allegan, where the company was founded in 1887. Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) is domiciled in Dublin, Ireland, but is run from its North American headquarters, which is currently based at its sprawling complex in Allegan.
Earlier this year, the company invested $13.6 million to expand its facility in Holland Township with a 66,000-square-foot warehouse.
Over the last year and a half, Perrigo has been shifting focus from health care to a broader concept of wellbeing, said Ronal Janish, executive vice president of global operations and supply chain for Perrigo.
“As a result going back now over a year we embarked on a search for space not only to address our growth needs, but attract the type of talent we knew we were going to need as we expanded in areas that were not perhaps traditional to Perrigo’s legacy,” Janish said during the MSF meeting on Tuesday morning.
As part of a sweeping corporate transformation plan announced by CEO Murray Kessler in May 2019, Perrigo has been shifting its focus to consumer self-care products. Part of that transformation included acquiring Grand Rapids-based Ranir Global Holdings LLC, a maker of oral care products, for $750 million.
In 2019, the company generated more than $230 million from new product sales, and continues to look at new growth segments in the oral care and nicotine cessation markets, as well as explore possibilities with cannabidiol (CBD).
Perrigo also changed 40 percent of its leadership as of January 2020 and ramped up research and development.
Through the first half of 2020, Perrigo generated $2.56 billion in revenue, up 10.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago, and reported net income of $167 million, which compares to $72.9 million a year ago. For the entire 2019 fiscal year, Perrigo generated more than $4.8 billion in revenue, an increase of 2.2 percent from the prior year. The company reported net income of $146.1 million for the year.
Perrigo is expected to report its third quarter earnings results on Nov. 4.