GlaxoSmithKline offloads Polish plant with 700 workers to French CDMO Delpharm

GlaxoSmithKline GSK House in Brentford, UK
(GlaxoSmithKline) British-based GSK is looking to sell up to $1.3 billion in assets to fund a public offering for its consumer healthcare joint venture with Pfizer. (GSK)

With plans to take its consumer healthcare joint venture with Pfizer public in the next few years, GlaxoSmithKline has been in Marie Kondo mode for some of its expansive global assets. After cutting a Canadian plant with 400 workers earlier this year, GSK is now hiving off an even bigger facility in Poland. 

GSK has sold its Poznań, Poland, manufacturing site to French CDMO Delpharm as the British drugmaker continues its global asset sell-off plans, the companies said this week. The plant's 700 workers will move to Delpharm with the sale.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and a Delpharm spokeswoman declined to comment. 

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Once the Poznań site is transferred over, Delpharm will manufacture the GSK products made there under a five-year-plus contract. The site's portfolio included 81 tablet- and capsule-based drugs as of late 2018, according to a report from PMR Consulting.

GSK acquired the Polish site in 1998 and spent around $500 million there over 20 years, PMR said. The facility churned out 8.7 million tablets and 1.3 million capsules every day as of late 2018, PMR reported, and exported drugs to 130 countries.

In March 2019, the drugmaker announced plans for a financial hub in Poznań, which will stay in GSK's hands moving forward, the company said in a release. The hub employs between 200 and 300 employees, GSK said previously.

RELATED: GlaxoSmithKline hiving off Canada plant with 400 workers to Taiwan CDMO 

GSK has been selling off assets in recent years as part of a bid to "streamline" operations—an effort that includes plans to spin off its consumer healthcare joint venture with Pfizer, a GSK spokeswoman said. 

The company has aimed to cut up to $1.3 billion in assets to grease the wheels for the JV's public offering sometime in the next few years, but the spokeswoman said the Poznań sale was not part of that goal. 

In a very similar deal signed in March, GSK offloaded a Canadian plant and its 400 workers to Taiwanese CDMO Bora Pharmaceuticals, which agreed to manufacture the more than 50 GSK drugs produced there for at least five years. The plant employees were offered positions with Bora while commercial workers were transferred to other GSK sites, the company said at the time. 

All 700 of GSK's Poznań workers will be transferred to Delpharm, offering a "sustainable future" for the site and employees, the GSK spokeswoman said.

RELATED: France's Delpharm in talks to buy 5 Famar sites for $274M

Delpharm, meanwhile, has been steadily growing its global footprint after pulling off a five-facility purchase from struggling Famar back in November.

In October, the two drugmakers were in talks for a deal at a cool $274 million for French sites in Orléans, Aigle and St-Rémy-sur-Avre, along with Famar’s site in Bladel in the Netherlands and its Pointe-Claire site in Quebec.

The combined sites employed 1,300 workers and brought the CDMO's total site portfolio to 17 worldwide—including a September 2017 pickup of a Roche solid and liquid formulation facility in Segrate, Italy.

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