Allergan, which tracks its roots to Iceland, closing plant there

Way back when, Actavis, which recently became Allergan ($AGN), started in Iceland. Now the drugmaker, which is known for its cost-control strategies, is taking the job ax to its roots there. It plans to shut down a manufacturing facility, cutting 300 jobs in the process.

The company has decided its other plants can handle more cheaply the production now being done at its Iceland facility, according to the Icelandic Monitor. The phase-out will begin in about 18 months, and the plant closing is expected to take 6 months more, the newspaper said.

Robert Stewart, president of generic and global operations, told the newspaper that it was unknown whether any of those slated to be laid off will be offered jobs in other parts of the company. Those operations, which employ about 400, are staying open.

Actavis, which was controlled by Iceland billionaire Thor Björgólfsson, was sold to Watson Pharmaceuticals in 2013 in a $5.5 billion deal. Watson then took on the Actavis name and continued its buying binge through 2014 by picking up Forest Laboratories for $25 billion and then buying Botox maker Allergan for $66 billion. It recently did yet another name change, donning the Allergan moniker that it figures has more pharma cachet than Actavis.

Paul Bisaro

Allergan Chairman Paul Bisaro has been quick to cut what he sees as redundant operations and people to help pay for his aggressive buying. The company started laying off former Forest folks last year, including more than 300 at a packaging operation on Long Island. Canada's Ropack is now buying some of the discarded facilities there to set up a U.S. base for its contract operations.

- read the Icelandic Monitor story