Recipharm buys Abbott plant to tap Spanish market

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology Pharmaceutical drug

Recipharm buys contract manufacturing plant in Spain to gain foothold in one of Europe’s "most interesting" markets.

The facility, in Parets near Barcelona, produces solid dose drugs, ointments and oral liquid medications and was previously owned by US healthcare major Abbott Laboratories, which acquired it with the purchase of Solvay Pharmaceuticals in 2009​.

In addition to Abbott, the plant provides contract pharmaceutical manufacturing services for a number of drug industry clients which Recipharm will continue to supply.

Mark Quick, the Swedish contract development and manufacturing organisation’s (CDMO) executive VP of business development, told Outsourcing-pharma the potential of the Spanish pharmaceutical sector was the key driver for the acquisition.

He explained that: “Unlike many other European markets it is quite fragmented with small often family owned businesses where we see opportunities. I don’t believe we would have gained access to these local customers without having a presence.​ “

In addition,​ “Quick continued “the facility is extremely well run have implanted lean principles in an excellent way which is a credit to Abbott and the staff there. The site was one of the first pharma facilities to gain ISO14001 and also has OHSAS and ISO9001 certification​.”

The Parets facility is the second former Solvay site Recipharm has bought after its 2009 acquisition of the Belgian drugmaker's manufacturing plant in Fontaine le Dijon, France.

Abbott manufacturing cuts

For Abbott the Parets facility sale is in keeping with efforts it has undertaken to restructure its manufacturing operations since acquiring Solvay last year.

In July​, the US healthcare major floated the idea of selling off the vaccine manufacturing unit it gained through the Solvay, although this plan was subsequently abandoned in favour of integration.

More recently, Abbott outlined plans to shut down Solvay’s US headquarters and cut jobs at sites formerly owned by the Belgian drugmaker in the Netherlands and Germany as part of a 3 per cent workforce reduction.

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