DigitalGlobe pockets incentives, may move
Last Updated: 18:11 June 13, 2013
Longmont-based DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI) is considering new headquarters locations in Broomfield and Westminster, according to Jeff Kraft, the state agency's director of business funding and incentives.
DigitalGlobe plans to consolidate its footprint, but to keep its global headquarters and a "significant employee base" in Colorado, following the company's 2012 merger with GeoEye Inc. (Nasdaq: GEOY) in a $900 million transaction, Katie Nafius, a DigitalGlobe spokeswoman, said in an email.
Company operations span multiple states, including Longmont and Thornton in Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, California and international locations, including Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Amsterdam, London and Singapore.
"(We) are evaluating the locations that will allow our team members to operate most efficiently and support growth consistent with our long-range business plans," Nafius said in the email.
The $4,359,406 state incentive package was approved Thursday by the Colorado Economic Development Commission and will be delivered to the company through state income tax credits, Kraft said. The commission is part of the state economic development office, which is a public entity funded through the governor's office.
Longmont economic development officials have offered DigitalGlobe a package of incentives to stay in Longmont, said John Cody, president and chief executive of the Longmont Area Economic Council.
The incentive package may include property tax rebates, rebated government fees and operational discounts, including electricity that is estimated to be 15 percent to 30 percent cheaper than other places in the metro area and broadband service estimated to be up to 50 percent cheaper, Cody said. Electricity and broadband service in Longmont is run by the city.
In response, DigitalGlobe representatives have said they're looking for executive-level talent for the multibillion-dollar company and are experiencing some resistance to a Longmont location from current executives who live in south Denver, Cody said.
"They're looking at moving south," Cody said. "A number of their current executives live down there and want to reduce their current commute time."
The company is expected to make a decision on a possible move by the end of July, Cody said.
Most of DigitalGlobe's estimated 700 employees live in Boulder County, Cody said. The company's current office is a little more than 200,000 square feet in a larger building at 1601 Dry Creek Drive, Cody said.
The combined company is now named DigitalGlobe, and some of GeoEye's executive team has been folded into the new structure, Nafius said.
The company reported a net profit of $39 million for 2012. Its key government EnhancedView contract is "mission critical" to U.S. defense forces, Jeffrey R. Tarr, DigitalGlobe's chief executive, said in February. The EnhancedView contract makes up 35 percent of company revenue, Tarr said. In all, government contracts make up 50 percent of company revenue, Tarr said.
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