Actavis will close its Lincolnton, NC, manufacturing plant over the next year and a half, idling its 310 staffers—a casualty of Watson Pharmaceuticals’ nearly $6 billion acquisition of the company last year.
Actavis expects to complete the shutdown by mid-2015, company spokesman Charlie Mayr told the Lincoln Times-News of Lincolnton.
By then, the company plans to have shifted production of the prescription drugs made at the plant to an Actavis site in Salt Lake City, which has excess production capacity, while production of over-the-counter drugs will be handled by contract manufacturers.
“The current competitive environment makes the outsourcing of the production of these products more cost-effective,” Mayr told the Charlotte Observer.
The LincoInton plant closing will worsen the already-high unemployment rate of Lincoln County, which in August stood at 8.6%, three-tenths of a point above the statewide jobless rate.
After Watson acquired Actavis and took its name, the combined company was left with 28 manufacturing plants, a number executives had long said they would reduce. The 28 included the Lincolnton plant, which Watson opened nearly 25 years ago.
While closing operations in Lincolnton, Actavis earlier this year signaled it would also step up investment at some of its manufacturing sites.
In March, the company joined Florida Governor Rick Scott to announce a $40.5 million expansion of its plant in Davie, FL, that will add about 16,700 square feet of new manufacturing space and another 13,000 square feet of warehouse space—as well as 220 new jobs to the company’s statewide workforce of about 1,400 people.
Governor Scott announced that Actavis had been approved for $2.9 million in grants, tax refunds, and employee training incentives from state and local governments.
Actavis considers the Davis site a “center of excellence” for immediate- and extended-release pharmaceuticals, with about 2.2 billion units manufactured there annually.