ST. LOUIS – Emerson announced that it is selling a majority stake in its climate technologies business to private equity firm, Blackstone.

Many are raising questions about Emerson’s future in St. Louis.

“This is something they’ve been working toward even before some of the economic uncertainty we’ve seen here in the last few months,” said Nathan Rubbelke, St. Louis innovation editor for the St. Louis Business Journal.

Rubbelke covers Emerson for the St. Louis Business Journal.

“They had this new CEO come in last year. It’s really him putting his imprint on the company in many ways,” he said. “They say it’s a team effort and they’ve done this as a team, but this is something they’ve been working towards for 18 months. It’s not like they woke up yesterday and said ‘Hey, let’s sell this off, or sell the headquarters.’ The headquarters thing was certainly a surprise.”

In a news release, Emerson made a statement about the sale. It reads in part: “Emerson will be right-sizing its corporate and platform cost structure and will sell ownership of its St. Louis, Missouri campus. During that time, Emerson will undertake a comprehensive assessment of potential headquarters locations.”

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“Their CEO does live here in St. Louis. The rest of their major executives do. These are big folks for the company who live here in St. Louis,” Rubbelke said.

A spokesperson for the company said Emerson will consider the St. Louis area in its search for a new headquarters. As for how the sale will impact current employees in St. Louis, the spokesperson said Emerson is very early in evaluating its structure, and for now, it’s business as usual.

“They’ve been a huge backer of local nonprofits and charities. They’ve been around since 1890,” Rubbelke said. “There’s a lot of uncertainties, I guess is the big, long-winded way of saying it.”

To read the full news release from Emerson, click here.