Stada lightens payroll load by 385 with Russian sell-off

Germany's Stada has pulled off the sale of two Russian plants, unloading 386 jobs in the process. That puts the generics maker's company-wide restructuring ahead of schedule, Stada said in a statement. Originally announced in 2010, Stada's "build the future" cost-cutting blueprint aimed to ratchet employment back by 10%, or about 800 jobs overall.

The two Russian plants--in Moscow and Ryazanskaya--were sold to DMN Invest, Moscow, in a partial management buyout. Some 186 employees go along with the deal, lightening Stada's payroll.

The buyer has agreed to take on up to 200 more Stada workers who will continue working at the two plants, for the German company's local subsidiaries, until production can be transferred to Stada's other Russian facilities. When Stada lays off those workers, DMN Invest will hire them "at previous conditions," the company said.

Fiercely independent, Stada has been criticized over the past year for avoiding the generics consolidation wave, preferring to go it alone. The company has reportedly turned away big-time buyers such as Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA). But CEO Hartmut Retzlaff recently admitted that Stada either needs to snap up some fellow drugmakers--or prepare to be bought out itself. Its newly streamlined profile may make it more attractive to buyers.

- read the release from Stada