Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) has been pumping out a lot of products at its Bausch + Lomb plant in South Carolina, reaching the 4 billion bottle mark this week. The company marked the occasion by announcing plans to invest in expansions that will add as many as 200 jobs over 5 years.
|J. Michael Pearson|
Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson showed up at the plant, which manufactures products that include the Boston and ReNu lines of contact lens solutions, to share the news. According to the announcement, the company will make an immediate investment of about $25 million to add an another line at the facility. Coupled with earlier investments in the facility, the expansion will allow the plant to add another 40 million units, a 20% production boost. That will also lead to hiring another 30 employees to the 500 person workforce. The Canadian-based company will receive incentives that include a property tax break on the expansion.
But there will be more in coming years, Pearson told employees. The company is looking to invest approximately $90 million over the next two years, and about $150 million over the next 5. If realized, those investments will mean the need for another 150 to 200 workers.
Pearson said that reaching the 4-billion bottle milestone was a testament to the "enormous impact that the facility has had across the globe." Valeant bought the company in 2013, paying investment firm Warburg Pincus $4.5 billion and spending another $4.2 billion to pay the company's outstanding debt.
Not everything was as upbeat this week for Pearson. The company Thursday acknowledged receiving subpoenas from two different offices of the U.S. Attorney seeking info on price hikes. The company has found itself on a hot seat with members of Congress who want explanations for Valeant's decision to jack up the prices of its drugs this year an industry-leading average of 65.6%. They are particularly interested in hearing about two drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress, for which Valeant increased the prices 525% and 212%, respectively.
- here's the release
- read Valeant's release on the subpoenas
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