Business Irish

Sunday 25 August 2019

GSK confirms sale of Cork plant to US biotechnology firm

Ralph Riegel

PHARMACEUTICAL giants GSK confirmed the sale of their 400-job Cork plant to a US biotechnology firm.

Staff at GSK's Ringaskiddy plant were briefed on the sale today which will not have any impact on employment levels at the Cork plant.

The sale, for an undisclosed sum, has been hailed as offering long-term certainty as to the future of the high-tech Cork facility.

The Ringaskiddy plant will now be operated by Thermo Fisher Scientific as a key GSK customer.

The sale will, subject to regulatory approval, see the Cork plant ownership including the manufacturing site, facilities, business operations and approximately 400 commercial manufacturing and R&D employees transfer to Thermo Fisher.

GSK employs 1,700 people across four locations in Ireland including Dungarvan, Cork, Sligo and Dublin.

The Cork site currently employs over 400 employees across operations, engineering, R&D and quality control.

It produces the active ingredients for a range of medicines for diseases such as childhood cancer, depression, diabetes, HIV and Parkinson’s disease.

GSK’s Sligo facility is dedicated to skincare producing around 30 million skin medicines and products every year including Oilatum and  Physiogel exporting to over 65 countries.

Thermo Fisher is a leading contract development and manufacturing organisation for the pharmaceutical industry.

GSK Cork Site Director Mike O’Sullivan said the acquisition was good news for the plant.

“We believe this acquisition offers a more sustainable future for the Cork site and our highly talented employees," he said.

"GSK has been in Cork for more than 40 years so we recognise that today is a significant day for everyone at the site."

"Our employees can be extremely proud of the contribution they have made to millions of patients’ lives all over the world through their work for GSK."

"We are confident that today’s announcement creates certainty and stability for the site and its employees."

"Due to strategic changes in the GSK portfolio and emerging pipeline, the Cork site had been significantly underutilised and it became clear that the site was no longer a competitive fit within GSK’s manufacturing network."

"As well as providing immediate certainty, furthermore, we believe the sale will leave the site well positioned for future growth and development.”

Thermo Fisher said they were delighted with the pending acquisition of the Cork plant.

“We look forward to welcoming the GSK Cork employees to Thermo Fisher Scientific,” Thermo Fisher president Patrick Glaser said.

“We share a commitment to develop medicines that improve the lives of patients and their families. Becoming part of Thermo Fisher will ensure a bright future for the employees that have contributed so much to the success of GSK over the years.”

Thermo Fisher is the world leader in its field with revenues of more than $24 billion and approximately 70,000 employees globally.

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