Caterpillar moving headquarters from Peoria to Chicago area

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ELMHURST, ILLINOIS - APRIL 24: Caterpillar earth moving equipment is displayed at Patten Industries on April 24, 2006 in Elmhurst, Illinois. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar reported first-quarter earnings higher than forecasted at $840 million, up 45 percent from $581 million during the same period in 2005. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

PEORIA, Ill. — Caterpillar Inc. is moving its headquarters to the Chicago area and won’t build a new complex in its current Peoria location.

The move comes as the company faces a weak equipment market that has been cutting into its bottom line.

Last week, the farming and construction equipment maker reported a wider fourth-quarter loss on charges and higher restructuring costs. It has been cutting jobs and facilities over the last several years.

The company says it won’t build the previously announced headquarters complex in Peoria due to a “challenging market conditions and the need to prioritize resources to focus on growth.”

Caterpillar said the vast majority of our people will remain in central Illinois. The current Caterpillar building in Peoria, Illinois will continue to be used.

The company says it will locate a limited group of senior executives and support functions in the Chicago area later this year. It calls Chicago a more strategic location. Caterpillar expects about 300 people to be based at the new location.

CEO Jim Umpleby says locating Caterpillar’s “closer to a global transportation hub, such as Chicago, means we can meet with our global customers, dealers and employees more easily and frequently.”