US pharma giant looks at selling Irish plant
Sun Pharma, the fifth largest generic drug maker in the world, is considering selling its Irish manufacturing plant, which employs about 100 people.
The biggest drug manufacturer in India in terms of revenue is trying to control costs that have spiralled since it bought rival firm Ranbaxy Laboratories for $4bn in an all-share deal in March. About a month ago Sun Pharma managing director, Dilip Shanghvi, inset, said that the firm would divest non-strategic businesses with little or no long-term strategic value.
The Irish plant, in Cashel, Co Tipperary, was owned by Ranbaxy and was a major supplier of cholesterol drug Atorvastatin in the EU. It is estimated that it made a profit of about €9m in the 2013-2014 financial year.
A spokesman for the company said: "Decisions are being made to either close or divest some of our manufacturing facilities. Currently, the Ireland facility has been identified for divestment."
The announcement comes just weeks after Sun Pharma reported that combining the two companies was proving costly and that its earnings in the last quarter had been depressed by "one-time and exceptional charges" that hit 685 crore (€93.7m).
Ranbaxy's India-based drug manufacturing sites have been banned from exporting to the US, the company's largest market, due to issues over quality control. Sun Pharma has warned that revenue may remain flat or decline this fiscal year, as it faces supply constraints at one of its own plants in western India.