Perrigo builds out Israel plant, expecting $100M annual sales boost

Months after successfully fighting off a contentious takeover attempt from rival Mylan ($MYL), Ireland-based Perrigo is putting millions into its own future. The generics company finished expanding a plant in Israel this week, expecting $100 million a year in added sales as a result.

Perrigo's John Hendrickson

Perrigo ($PRGO) spent about $46 million to build out the plant in the remote town of Yeruham, where it focuses on complex products such as foams, creams and nasal sprays, Reuters reported. The investment there "is a big prescription drug growth platform for us, primarily for the U.S. market, but not solely," the company's president, John Hendrickson, told the news service.

In November, capping off one of the year's longest takeover battles, Perrigo managed to free itself from would-be suitor Mylan, with CEO Joseph Papa saying at the time he was "delighted" shareholders had "voiced their clear support for this management team and our long-term strategy." Mylan missed the threshold for tendered shares by about 10% after a 7-month back-and-forth effort. The Wall Street Journal called it "one of the bitterest takeover battles in decades."

During that time, the Irish generics company announced plans to cut costs in a move to fend off Mylan, resulting in the firing of 6% of its workforce. The cuts included $105 million in savings by consolidating supply chain activities in Ireland.

Free to pursue its own future, Perrigo has "great stand-alone prospects," Hendrickson told Reuters this week, adding that the company is not seeking any buyers and is planning to buy back stock worth $1.5 billion. The company also continues to expect about half of its growth to come through M&A.

On the acquisition front, last May, Perrigo purchased Patheon's softgel operations in Mexico for $34 million, picking up a 110,750-square-foot site with four facilities. Perrigo's director of global communications, Bradley Joseph, said at the time that the company was the largest OTC store brand business in Mexico.

- here's the Reuters story

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