Salford Quays and Didsbury are vying to land the 160-strong back office for US conglomerate SPX Corporation.
CB Richard Ellis is advising SPX on the requirement for its new pan-European administration and customer contact centre. SPX is expected to announce its preferred location at the turn of the year and is understood to have shortlisted Benmore's Wharfside in Salford Quays, Liberty Property Trust and Countryside's Didsbury Point, and Towers business park in Didsbury, owned by Dutch investor Wereldhave. The initial requirement is for 20,000 sq ft with the capacity to grow if needed later on.
Midas, the city region's inward investment agency, confirmed the decision by SPX to open an office in Manchester today.
Rachel Green, head of business development at Midas, led the team working with SPX. She said: "The arrival of the SPX shared service centre shows that Manchester is competing with and beating other major cities throughout Europe and indeed worldwide for such projects."
Staff at the SSC will work in 12 languages including English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Polish and Russian. As well as suitability of workforce, SPX looked at cost of property and access to an international airport during its search.
Mary Sczudlo, chief financial officer of Global Shared Services at SPX, said: "To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of SPX worldwide we developed a plan to establish regional SSCs around the world. A centre was established in Shanghai and the next stage of the plan is to deliver a SSC for Europe.
"MIDAS and NWDA proved to us that Manchester has everything we need to make the SSC a success – the location, the infrastructure with excellent transport connectivity overseas and most importantly, the existing SSCs and highly impressive talent pool."
According to the NWDA, 17% of the region's economic output comes from foreign-owned companies.
The $6bn turnover North Carolina-headquartered SPX group makes and supplies industrial products used in flow technology, test and measurement services, and thermal equipment.