Gardner Denver’s Milwaukee HQ will have at least 40 employees

Gardner Denver Inc. plans to have 40 to 50 employees at its new Milwaukee headquarters when the transition from its existing corporate headquarters is complete.

The company, a global manufacturer of industrial compressors, blowers, pumps, loading arms and fuel systems, told BizTimes last week it is in the process of moving its corporate headquarters from Wayne, Pa. (a suburb of Philadelphia) to Milwaukee.

The company currently has about 30 employees at its Milwaukee office, said Curtis Selby, vice president of human resources.

“We are in the process of moving right now,” Selby said. “We are in the process of ramping this office up pretty quickly. We have been hiring (in Milwaukee).”

Selby declined to provide additional information about the details or reasons for the relocation of the company’s corporate headquarters to Milwaukee. Future expansion plans for the office are yet to be determined, he said.

Gardner Denver is a Fortune 1000 company with annual revenue of about $2.4 billion and more than 6,000 employees worldwide. The company opened an office on the top floor of a five-story building at 222 E. Erie St. in the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee last year when Milwaukee business executive Tim Sullivan, the former chief executive officer of South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International Inc., became the president and CEO of Gardner Denver.

Gardner Denver announced recently that Sullivan was resigning after about 10 months in the position. His replacement is Peter Wallace, who previously worked for West Milwaukee-based Rexnord Corp. for 25 years, including a stint as CEO.

Gardner Denver was founded in Quincy, Ill. and still has significant operations there. The company moved its corporate headquarters to the Philadelphia area in 2010, saying it needed to be based in a major metropolitan area.

Last year, at the same time of Sullivan’s appointment as president and CEO, the company was acquired by New York-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., a global investment firm with $83.5 billion in assets under management. KKR acquired all of the outstanding shares of Gardner Denver for about $3.9 billion, including the assumption of debt.

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