Pharma firm Regeneron to take over Dell facility
Limerick may get $200m investment
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, a company valued at $26bn (€19.7bn) on the Nasdaq, has confirmed in an SEC filing that it intends to invest hundreds of millions in Limerick by taking over the former manufacturing facility of Dell there.
The biopharmaceutical company, in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing in America, said: "In July 2013, we reached preliminary agreement to acquire a 400,000 sq ft facility in Limerick, Ireland, subject to entering into definitive agreements as well as securing permits from the local government in Limerick.
"We intend to renovate this facility to accommodate and support our growth, primarily in connection with expanding our manufacturing capacity to support our global supply chain."
The Sunday Independent first revealed that Regeneron was poised to take over Dell's old plant two months ago, and if the investment gets the final green light, it will deliver a boost of hundreds of jobs to the mid-west.
The exact amount Regeneron will invest in Raheen, Limerick, is unclear but it is likely to be somewhere between $150m and $200m given the scale of the 400,000 sq ft former Dell facility.
Regeneron said in its SEC filing: "We expect to incur capital expenditures of approximately $225m to $300m during the remainder of 2013 and 2014, primarily in connection with expanding our manufacturing facilities at our Rensselaer facility, tenant improvements at our leased Tarrytown facilities, purchasing and commencing renovations on the new Limerick facility described above (predicated on finalising its purchase), and purchases of equipment."
Limerick will become Regeneron's second manufacturing facility after Rensselaer, New York, if it completes the acquisition. It has said it plans to invest $80m in upgrading its New York facility so there remains significant headspace in its capital expenditure projections for large-scale investment in Limerick.
Regeneron has not specified what it plans to make in Ireland. Its blockbuster drug is Eylea, for wet age-related macular degeneration, but this product is understood not to require additional manufacturing capacity.
Other drugs, Arcalyst, a drug for a rare genetic disorder, as well as Zaltrap, a colorectal cancer drug, are possible candidates for making in Ireland.
Limerick was shell-shocked in January 2009 when Dell let 1,900 manufacturing jobs go when it shifted production to lower-cost Poland.
Regeneron was founded in 1988 by chief executive Leonard S Schleifer, who is a former assistant professor at the Cornell University Medical College in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology.
The average salary in Regeneron is $94,000 according to statistics from Indeed.com, the job search engine.