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UCB S.A. sells Henrietta plant to French drug manufacturer

By WILL ASTOR - 5/30/2013 3:42:42 PM

Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB S.A. is selling its Henrietta plant to a French contract drug manufacturer, Unither Pharmaceuticals.

The deal calls for Unither to continue producing product for UCB. The French firm expects to retain the plant’s 250 workers and 50 contract workers, Unither officials said. Terms of the sale—slated to close in the fourth quarter—were not disclosed.

The plant mainly manufacturers liquid pharmaceutical products. The acquisition is a part of Unither's strategy to become a pharmaceutical global player, the company said. Unither intends to install as soon as possible its technologies in the plant to provide its clients or U.S. prospects locally made products.

The Henrietta drug-manufacturing facility’s ownership history reads like a roadmap of globalization.

Built by the locally founded and based R.J. Strasenbrugh Co., the Jefferson Road facility was sold to Philadelphia-based R.J. Penwalt Corp. in 1969. British-based Fisons PLC bought it from Penwalt in 1988.

After the French pharmaceutical maker Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. (now Sanofi-Aventis) took over Fisons, it sold the plant to Britain-based Medeva PLC in 1996.UCB acquired the facility in 2004 following Medeva’s merger with Celltech Group PLC, also of Britain, in 2000.   

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