With AbbVie’s $50bn (€40bn) mega-merger Shire as good as dead, Pfizer’s attempts at buying AstraZeneca failing, and Valeant’s wooing of Allergan so far falling on deaf ears, the closing of Actavis’s $28bn acquisition of Forest in July could be the top pharma deal of 2014.
But as is often the case with deals of this size, there are a number of crossover services and within a week of the deal closing, Actavis broke the news it would be shuttering Forest’s Earth City site in St Louis, Missouri, with 190 jobs affected.
However, the reduction in jobs has not stopped there and a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN), published by the New York Department of Labor, states 94 workers at an ex-Forest pharmaceutical commercial packaging site in Long Island have been given their 90 day notice.
According to the WARN, Actavis is relocating “most of its operations to New Jersey,” where it has a manufacturing, R&D, and administration centre. The notice adds two other Forest sites in New York – a laboratory testing facility in Farmingdale, and a warehousing and Clinical Packaging in Hauppage – will also be affected, though for now none of the three site shave officially been earmarked for closure.
Forest’s headquarters in New York will be shuttered by mid-2015, however, with 18 jobs affected.
According to SEC filings, there is an additional Forest manufacturing site in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as two plants in Dublin, Ireland. As of March 2013, Forest has a workforce of 5,800.
Mega-mergers, mega-network, mega-cuts
Even before buying Forest, the firm – previously known as Watson Pharmaceuticals - was addressing its capacity and trimming its network following the $5.9bn merger of Watson and Actavis, and last year announced 360 jobs would be lost at a Californian manufacturing plant, while an R&D site in Malta was also closed as part of a global shakeup.
In the wake of Pfizer’s $68bn mega-merger with Wyeth in 2009, the company laid down plans to trim its manufacturing network with eight sites shutting in 2010 and a further six earmarked to close by 2015, affecting over 6,000 workers.
Similarly, Merck & Co. has continued to cut back at its ‘bloated network’ following its $41bn merger with Schering-Plough, also in 2009, announcing last November a further ten sites would be closed.