Fareva moves into U.S. with Pfizer plant buy

The big European contract manufacturer Fareva has now established a U.S. beachhead as it pursues plans to expand into the U.S. market. The pharma manufacturer has stepped in to buy one of Pfizer's ($PFE) manufacturing facilities in Virginia.

In the deal, the 500 Pfizer workers who make Advil, Chapstick and other products will now work for Fareva, which has an arrangement in place to spruce up the facility with a $42 million upgrade and add about 90 new jobs over 5 years.

Local economic development officials breathed an audible sigh of relief on the news. Pfizer had announced back in the spring of 2010 that it would shutter the plant as part of a big revamp planned for its manufacturing division. In acquiring the plant, Fareva also got the contract to continue supplying Pfizer.

"We have been looking for the right opportunity to expand our manufacturing footprint into North America and establish our pharmaceutical and cosmetics businesses in the United States," said Fareva CEO Bernard Fraisse. "The Henrico County site has a talented and motivated workforce and state-of-the-art manufacturing, packaging and warehousing facilities that are a perfect fit for growing our commercial portfolio in this region."

Based in Luxembourg, Fareva employs 5,500 and reported $1.2 billion in 2010 revenues. The company operates 28 manufacturing facilities in Europe and around the world.

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