Sanofi Allegra plant in U.S. up for sale

Sanofi decided several years ago that it would shutter a plant in the Kansas City, MO, area after attempts to sell it turned up no deal. But with less than a year left before it is slated to close, the French drugmaker is giving the sales route another shot and has put the 690,000-square-foot facility back on the market.

In an emailed statement, the company said: "Since Sanofi first announced the Kansas City site closure in August 2009, we have gradually reduced manufacturing levels as well as the number of employees. All manufacturing will cease by August 2016, and we intend to sell both the building and manufacturing equipment."

Commercial real estate brokers JM Zell began advertising the "fully equipped" plant, with scalable lines capable of making tablets, beads, capsules, liquids and other products, this week. It says the facility has 213,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity, 105,000 square feet of packaging area, and a 107,000-square-foot warehouse, as well as labs and offices. It says the highly skilled workforce could transfer as well.

The 40-year-old plant makes Sanofi's allergy med Allegra and other medications. Sanofi first decided to sell the plant back in 2008, saying the products it produced were not seeing enough growth to warrant keeping it around. A year later, when the drugmaker didn't get an offer it felt good about, it said the plant would close. But the French drugmaker held onto it and in 2012 finally put an absolute closing date of August 2016 on the facility. It also said it was laying off 112 of its 337 workers and would have more layoffs every 6 months until the plant closed.

The decision to sell the plant was made about the time that CEO Chris Viehbacher was coming on board. But he exited unceremoniously last year, and Olivier Brandicourt is now running the show. He is in the midst of a reorg and next month is expected to lay out his 5-year strategic plan for Sanofi. This summer he announced plans to sort the company into 5 operating units, moves that will take effect in January. In that change-up, he put established products, generics, consumer health and emerging markets under the name General Medicines & Emerging Markets.

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