Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. will move its global headquarters to Chicago this year, leaving no company presence in Idaho, where it incorporated in 1928.
Coeur has 65 employees in the building it owns in downtown Coeur d’Alene, and about 20 of them have opted to move to Illinois and remain with the company, spokeswoman Stefany Bales said Wednesday. The rest may stay on until Sept. 30, she said.
Coeur told employees in December that it was considering the move, and the company made the announcement Wednesday with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The relocation is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
President and CEO Mitchell Krebs worked for the company in Chicago for seven years before moving to Coeur d’Alene in 2008 to become chief financial officer. In a statement Wednesday, Krebs said the new headquarters would improve access to “key stakeholders.”
“Chicago is a global, pro-business city, an international transportation hub, and provides access to a broad and deep talent pool,” he said.
Idaho leaders including Gov. Butch Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Commerce Director Jeffery Sayer and Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem met with Coeur officials in recent months to persuade them not to leave the state.
“There was a massive effort by the state of Idaho and the city of Coeur d’Alene to make sure the needs of Coeur were met,” said Steve Griffitts, president of Jobs Plus Inc., the nonprofit economic development corporation that helps companies relocate to or expand in North Idaho.
“It’s less about what Coeur d’Alene or Idaho didn’t have and more about where the company is headed,” Bales said. “The company is in the middle of a complete transformation right now, from a regional interest into a more global company.”
Chicago, she continued, offers an international presence and access to more industries for building business partnerships.
Griffitts said he wishes the company the best. “We are grateful for the long history they have had in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.”
The mining company, which employs 2,000 people worldwide, sold its Galena Mine in the Silver Valley to U.S. Silver Corp. in mid-2006.
The headquarters has been in Coeur d’Alene since 1985. Bales said she did not know what Coeur will do with the building at 505 Front Ave. across the street from McEuen Park.
The company also said Wednesday it will change its name to Coeur Mining in mid-May following its annual meeting.
The $1.5 billion corporation, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, operates silver and gold mines in Nevada, Alaska, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina and Australia. It also owns strategic minority shareholdings in eight silver and gold development companies in North and South America.