Pfizer sells King Pharma plant to UPM Pharmaceuticals

In efforts to get its manufacturing network in line with a more current revenue picture, Pfizer ($PFE) has been disposing of plants picked up in acquisitions. The drugmaker had some success finding buyers for its excess capacity and struck another deal to sell a plant in Tennessee. This time it goes to family, so to speak.

The Baltimore, MD-based contract developer and manufacturer UPM Pharmaceuticals is buying the 500,000-square-foot plant in Bristol, TN, that Pfizer acquired in its $3.6 billion purchase of King Pharmaceuticals in 2011. UPM's CEO and chairman John Gregory founded King Pharmaceuticals in 1994. "UPM leaders have experience with this site, and are familiar with our colleagues and the products we manufacture there," Pfizer Vice President John Kelly said.

The financial terms were not disclosed, but under the deal UPM has a two-year agreement to continue to manufacture the current lines of Pfizer products made at the plant. UMP also picked up capabilities for manufacturing and packaging solid oral dosage tablets and capsules, as well as semi-solid manufacturing of creams and ointments. The new facility will give UPM the capacity to manufacture 3.5 billion tablets and 680 million capsules annually. "This will be a dramatic growth opportunity for our company and our clients," Gregory said. 

Pfizer, which has seen its revenue take a hard hit from loss of patent protection for one-time super seller Lipitor and other drugs, has been cutting back to compensate. It unloaded 30 plants in the last year as the company sold off its nutritional business, 5 plants, to Nestlé and spun off its animal health business, 25 plants, to Zoetis. Earlier this month the company said it slated for closure next year an API plant in in Cork County, Ireland, with 136 workers but hopes to find a buyer. The company sold a plant in Dublin to Amgen ($AMGN) in an earlier consolidation wave.

- here's the UPM release (PDF)

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