Actavis to close NC plant, trim 310 jobs

Actavis CEO Paul Bisaro said from the beginning that he intended to close some of the 28 plants acquired in the buyout of Actavis ($ACT) by Watson Pharmaceuticals last year. A plant in North Carolina will be among those. It is a tough break for the 310 workers at the facility but will provide some opportunity for contact manufacturers.

The process will begin early next year at the Lincoln County, NC, facility, but a spokesman tells the Charlotte Observer it will play out over more than a year. The final closing is expected by mid-2015. "We basically are telling employees in advance," spokesman Charlie Mayr said. "It's not the best of news, but we try to be responsible."

The 150,000-square-foot facility makes both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products. Actavis will shift prescription drug production to a plant in Salt Lake City, UT, which has excess capacity. It will contract out manufacturing of the OTC products, which include antibiotic creams, children's ibuprofen and analgesic suppositories. "The current competitive environment makes the outsourcing of the production of these products more cost-effective," Mayr told the newspaper.

While other plant closings are in the cards, it has not all been about production cuts at the generic drugmaker. Earlier this year, it said it would invest $40.5 million in its plant in Davie, FL. The drugmaker will add about 16,700 square feet of manufacturing space, as well as 13,000 square feet of warehouse space. The expansion will create 220 jobs and in this case, Actavis gets something in return. If it hits certain job goals it will be eligible for more than $1.24 million in state and local incentives as well as up to $584,500 in training grants.

- read the Charlotte Observer story

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