Stryker (NYSE:SYK) last week officially cut the ribbon on its new European headquarters as it plans to increase its market share in Western Europe.
Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker said the new facility occupies roughly 59,000 square feet in Amsterdam’s Southeast business district and features a new training center for healthcare providers.
During a conference call with investors discussing Stryker’s 4th-quarter results, executives said the company is pushing to revitalize its business in Western Europe. Each of Stryker’s 8 divisions will have a vice president & general manager in Europe, and each country there will have its own dedicated manager, CEO Kevin Lobo said during the call.
"[W]hen most companies are leaning away from Western Europe, we’re leaning in Western Europe, and it’s just because of our current market share position, which is far below what it is in many other countries in the world," Lobo said, noting that the new structure puts business from each division in Western Europe and the U.S. on the same profit & loss statement.
That gives "a lot more flexibility with your dollars, because you’ve bigger marketing budgets, you’ve bigger R&D budgets, you can move money around and so if you see an exciting opportunity in the U.K. or an exciting opportunity to invest in France, you can balance that against opportunities that exist in the United States and you can move resources more tangibly," he explained.
"Putting them all in Amsterdam, having a state of the art center in Amsterdam where we can actually train surgeons, these are investments that we just haven’t made in Western Europe historically and that’s 1 of the reasons why we’ve just never moved the dial [there]," Lobos said.
CFO Bill Jellison said Stryker transferred patents from other European nations to Holland and is also repatriating some $2 billion in cash generated in Europe.
"Most of those funds will be transferred to the US in the back half of 2015, Jellison said. "The transfer of the intellectual property provides us more flexibility in managing our operations in the future and aligns the ownership with where our primary European leadership team will be located."