Actavis puts California plant on hit list

Actavis ($ACT) keeps rolling up competitors and, to help pay for the process, it's closing up plants. Come early January, a facility in California will be the next to go.

There are few details--only a so-called WARN notice on a California government website saying that the facility in Corona, CA, will close Jan. 3, and 56 jobs will be eliminated. The company mentioned in an earnings report in January that the facility was one of three that it intended to close in its efforts to "rationalize our supply chain." The other plants were in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and Alathur, India. Nothing has been said recently about the Canadian facility, but India's Business Standard reported in August that Actavis had sold the FDA-approved Alathur plant to India's Vivimed Labs for Rs 122 crore (about $19.4 million).

Actavis CEO Paul Bisaro said last year the company intended to close some of the 28 plants acquired in the buyout of Actavis by Watson Pharmaceuticals last year to create part of the $300 million in savings it would use to pay for the deal. Since then, it has acquired another four production facilities in its $8.5 billion buyout of Warner Chilcott. Among those is a plant in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, which last year received an FDA warning letter that highlighted testing failures at the facility. Shortcomings there were resolved and a close-out letter was issued in June of this year.

Last month, before the merger was complete, Warner Chilcott said it was laying off 88 employees at a plant in Rockaway Township, NJ. Also in October, Actavis said it intended to close a plant in Lincoln County, NC, that currently has 310 employees. The plant is slated to cease production and close up shop by mid-2015.

- here's the job notice (PDF)