West eyes up Waterford, Ireland facility in expanding network

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmaceutical drug Pharmacology

West eyes up Waterford, Ireland facility in expanding network
West Pharmaceutical Services has confirmed it is evaluating potential expansions but says rumours that it plans to pay €100m ($130m) for a facility in Ireland are premature.

The contract packaging and deliveryu tech firm already has a facility in Dublin, providing customised plastic components and assemblies to the pharma world through its subsidiary Tech Group Europe (TGE). However, reports in the Irish media suggest West is in discussions with Ireland’s industrial development agency (IDA) to buy a 217,600m2​ site in Waterford.

When contacted by this publication, West spokesperson Emily Denney did not deny West had been assessing the green-field site but told us no plans have been finalised.

“As West Pharmaceutical Services’ growth continues, we are always evaluating potential investment activities to best serve our customers’ needs,”​ she said.

The IDA too could not confirm it was in talks with West but sent us a statement saying it was looking for a buyer for the Knockhouse, Waterford site and is carrying out site levelling work in order to enhance the attributes of the location.

Expanding Network

West announced plans to expand its Dublin facility​ this year to service an injectable drug delivery device contract for an undisclosed large pharma firm. However, there has been a torrent of activity across its network globally of late.

A 15,300m2 facility in Sri City, India opened its doors in July​, manufacturing seals used in primary packaging of injectable drugs. Last September​, the company opened a second plant in China producing elastomer pharmaceutical components and medical devices.

During a recent conference call to discuss second quarter 2014 results, CFO Bill Federici told investors West expects to “spend approximately $125 to $145 million in capital in 2014,” ​half of which is dedicated to new products and expansion activities.

CEO Don Morel also spoke of West’s facility in Ra'anana, Israel, in light of recent troubles in the region.

“Our facilities are secure, our folks are working and there has been no disruption to this point [July 31],”​ he said, speaking three weeks into the Israel-Gaza conflict. “We have contingency plans that we put into place for manufacturing for the products that come out of Israel that we could put into place should the situation dictate it.”

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