This is a nearly $1-billion firm. Sorry Cleveland.....
OM Group will leave E&Y Tower
Firm's headquarters, and 30 jobs, are moving from Cleveland to St. Louis
November 22, 2015 UPDATED 11/23/2015
PNC Center in Downtown Clayton
By STAN BULLARD
Scratch another name from the roster of Northeast Ohio-based corporations — and with it another 30 executive jobs — as the new owner of OM Group plans to move its corporate headquarters to St. Louis.
Jim Voss, who became CEO of OM Group as the deal was consummated at the end of October, said the Apollo Management Group’s affiliated funds that purchased three OM divisions has different headquarters needs than OM had for its 2-year-old corporate headquarters on the 13th floor of Ernst & Young Tower, downtown Cleveland’s newest office building.
“When the decision was made to take out this lease, it was a different strategy and a bit pricey,” Voss said. “The building is awesome, but the office is bigger than anything we wanted to have going forward as a drastically different company.”
The specialty chemicals provider had five divisions with 50 employees when it moved to E&Y from Key Tower.
Voss said the corporate staff now is 30 people, and the company operates three divisions rather than five.
Under terms of the $1 billion acquisition of OM Group by the joint venture of Apollo funds and West Palm Beach-based Platform Specialty Products Corp., the Florida firm bought two OM divisions covering electronic and photo chemicals.
“We have three divisions we are excited about growing, but (they) have operations outside the Cleveland area and the United States,” Voss said.
“Other than heritage, there are no ties to Cleveland.”
The move to St. Louis, where OM Group is eyeing 11,000 square feet in a downtown (Clayton) building that’s not the pinnacle of the office market, also will allow the company to trim overhead costs, Voss said.
At E&Y, OM Group is in more than 20,000 square feet.
Asked if the company went through a cost-comparison exercise for Cleveland and St. Louis, Voss said he considered the two similar but added, “I confess. I live near St. Louis.”
As part of its plan for the three OM divisions it retained, Voss said the company is changing its name to Vectra to emphasize its specialty chemicals and materials applications.
The OM Group name is better known, he said, for the company’s older commodity nickel and cobalt operations.
The three divisions that OM Group retained are its magnetic technologies, battery technologies and advanced organics businesses.
OM Group went public in 1993. It was built on a platform originated in Cleveland as Mooney Chemicals in 1946.
OM Group employees in Cleveland were told about the move recently and offered separation packages, Voss said.
He said about a half-dozen executives are discussing opportunities to move to St. Louis. He said his target is for a staff of about 30 in St. Louis.