Pfizer to sell NY building, cut up to 1,400 jobs

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) slapped a For Sale sign on a Manhattan high-rise yesterday as it prepares to lay off or move up to 1,400 employees who work in the city, the New York Times reports. That's about one-third of the 4,400 employees currently based in Manhattan.

"It's all a part of consolidating our footprints in buildings we own," Pfizer spokeswoman Joan Campion told the Times. "We're moving a number of our people to other Pfizer locations" in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And that consolidation, of course, stems from the Pfizer's megamerger with rival Wyeth, as the combined company aims to reduce overlapping operations and cut the almost 20,000 jobs targeted when the deal was announced.

Pfizer plans to maintain its Manhattan headquarters and move some workers into adjoining office buildings. But still, the building sale and job cuts are a blow to the city, which granted big tax breaks to Pfizer in 2003 to keep the company in Manhattan. The city's Economic Development Corporation will try to recover twice the $12 million in tax breaks the company has used, provided the company does eliminate more than 450 jobs, a spokesman told the NYT.

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