Pliva axing 790 employees; still looks to grow

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Active ingredient Teva

Pliva is laying off 790 employees over the next 12 months following its acquisition by Teva but still intends to significantly increase API and finished product output over this period.

The job losses will affect almost all areas of the business but despite these cutbacks the company has outlined ambitious output targets for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished products.

Pliva’s production facilities in Zagreb, Croatia have been highlighted by Teva as having strategic importance and the Israeli generics giant intends to invest “considerable resources​” into them.

This is intended to boost output at the finished product site by 30 per cent before the end of the year. Further investment will increase packaging capacity, allowing the facility to provide services to Teva’s other facilities, particularly in the US market.

Pliva’s other Zagreb facility, which produces APIs, is also due to receive a cash injection and subsequent rise in output.

Teva has been transferring manufacture of some products to the site since it acquired Barr and its subsidiary Pliva in December and this, coupled with investment, is expected to increase output from 300kg last year to up to 3 tons in 2009.

By increasing the efficiency of the API production facility and using its wider network of potential customers Teva is anticipating increasing sales and profits generated by the site.

Teva is also intending to transfer some R&D activities to Zagreb, where Pliva will also be launching a range of new products primarily in the fields of oncology and respiratory.

Sizeable severance pay

The 790 employees facing redundancy will receive compensation packages “far more favorable than statutory conditions​”, which media reports say could amount to HRK 2m ($350,000).

An article in Croatian newspaper Tportal​ stated that those who had worked at Pliva their whole life would receive HRK 2m, with HRK 300,000 going to those who have been at the company less than 25 years.

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