GlaxoSmithKline hiving off Canada plant with 400 workers to Taiwan CDMO 

Bora Pharmaceuticals is buying a GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical and consumer plant in Canada. In 2018, it acquired a 400,000-square-foot sterile manufacturing plant in its home country of Taiwan from Impax Laboratories. Bora paid $18.5 million for the facility while Impax took a $74.1 million impairment charge on the deal. (Bora Pharmaceuticals)

GlaxoSmithKline intends to sell off £1 billion worth of assets to raise some cash for operation of its consumer joint venture with Pfizer and is losing no time in doing so. A plant in Canada with 400 employees is now on the front line of that effort while giving a Taiwan-based CDMO a North American manufacturing foothold.  

GSK and Bora Pharmaceuticals announced the deal Monday, saying they expect to close the sale of the pharmaceutical and consumer products plant by year-end. The 400 plant employees are being offered positions with Bora, while GSK employees on the commercial side housed in offices at the facility will transfer to other GSK sites. 

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Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the two said that Bora will manufacture for GSK the more than 50 products, mostly pharmaceuticals, produced at the plant for at least five years. 

“We are excited to announce today the next phase of our expansion into North America with the acquisition of this world-class facility and we look forward to welcoming the Mississauga manufacturing employees, whom we view as the most significant asset in this transaction, into our business,” Bora CEO Bobby Sheng said in a statement. “The Mississauga-based facility is ideally suited with our intention to grow our technical capabilities and scale in the global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) marketplace.”

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The acquisition will nearly double the employee size of the CDMO, which currently has 470 workers at two manufacturing sites in Taiwan. That includes a 400,000-square-foot plant it acquired from Impax Laboratories in 2018. Bora last year opened an office in Delaware. 

The sale to Bora comes just three weeks after the JV said it will close a GSK OTC plant in Pennsylvania with 260 employees by the end of 2021 and consolidate production into a facility in Guayama, Puerto Rico. The GSK plant makes vitamin C supplement Emergen-C. 

The plant sales are part of a much larger plan in which GSK and Pfizer intend to spin off the joint venture within three years and list it as standalone company on the U.K. exchange as GSK Consumer Healthcare. That will leave GSK to focus on medicines and vaccines.

Editor's Note: The story was updated to make clear the plant mostly produces pharmaceuticals.

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