Canada's Ropack buying Forest operations on Long Island

When Actavis, which is now Allergan ($AGN), bought Forest Laboratories last year, it quickly set about whacking jobs. That included hundreds at operations on Long Island, NY. Now Canadian contract manufacturer Ropack says it will buy some of the discarded facilities to establish a U.S. beachhead.

Paul DuPont, Ropack VP of marketing and business development

The Montreal-based company is in the process of buying two Forest buildings, each more than 100,000 square feet, according to the Long Island Business News. The buildings, which Biospace says are on the market for $43.6 million, would be used for manufacturing and packaging.

"Strategically it will put us in a much better position to offer full services as a CMO," Paul DuPont, Ropack vice president of marketing and business development, told the Long Island Business News. "I think these facilities will bring us to a much higher level."

Ropack is seeking about $3 million in tax breaks for the deal, according to the publication. The CMO has promised to hire 103 employees within two years, 33 in the first year and another 70 in the second. That would be significant growth for Ropack which says it has about 315 employees at its four facilities in Montreal which total 241,000 square feet where is makes both prescription and OTC products.

But the new positions will still be significantly fewer than the 412 Actavis told the state would be trimmed from Forest's New York employment, most of those in commercial packaging operations in Long Island. Forty-seven of the job-cutting total were sales staffers who worked remotely. Actavis bought Forest for $25 billion last year then recently changed its name after buying Botox maker Allergan for $66 billion.

There has been quite a bit of manufacturing action on Long Island lately. In March, OTC drug maker Spirit Pharmaceuticals said it would spend about $15 million building a plant and warehouse in Islip. The month before InvaGen Pharmaceuticals and co-owned AlphaMed Bottles announced plans for two manufacturing facilities in Central Islip. InvaGen is building a $37 million, 260,000-square-foot facility and AlphaMed, a $10 million, 80,000-square-foot operation to make bottles used for packaging drugs.

- read the Long Island Business News story
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