UPDATED: Bayer selling animal health plant in St. Joseph, MO, and some of its product lines

Bayer Healthcare said it plans to sell its animal health production facility in St. Joseph, MO, and some of the products manufactured at the plant.

In a separate earnings announcement, the company said full-year sales of its Advantage line of flea and tick products rose 3.1% last year, though Q4 earnings sank to €224 million ($254 million), compared with €455 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected net profit to climb to €483 million, according to The Wall Street Journal--a miss Bayer blamed in part on costs related to the $14.2 billion price tag for Merck's ($MRK) OTC unit.

Bayer picked up the St. Joseph facility, which employs about 135 people, as part of its 2013 acquisition of Teva Pharmaceutical's ($TEVA) U.S. animal health business. At the time of the Teva acquisition, about 300 people worked at the plant. A Bayer spokeswoman told the Kansas City Business Journal the company will retain the DVM and Expert Care brands made at the facility, but will move their production to its animal health campus in Shawnee, KS.

How long the St. Joseph facility continues to operate until a buyer is found remains uncertarin.

"Bayer is currently at the beginning of the divestment process and will communicate information as it becomes available," Lauren Dorsch, a Bayer spokeswoman, told Fierce. "We would evaluate our options at that time and communicate the path forward." 

The company will retain a distribution center in St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is considered one of the main hubs of what is marketed as the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which spans from Columbia, MO, to Manhattan, KS. More than 300 animal health companies are located along the corridor, giving the Midwest stretch of landscape the largest concentration of like companies in the world.

- read the KCBJ story
- check out Bayer's earnings 

Editors: corrects headline to indicate Bayer is selling not closing the facility; adds comment from Bayer.