Catalent announces sale of plant in Northeast Philadelphia

Posted: June 02, 2012

Catalent Pharma Solutions Inc. said Thursday it recently signed a "definitive agreement" to sell its drug-packaging plant in Northeast Philadelphia and one in Woodstock, Ill., to an affiliate of Frazier Healthcare, a West Coast venture-capital firm.

Drug companies pay manufacturers like Catalent to produce medicine, among other activities. Catalent did not disclose the sale price and said "the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to close in the next few months."

The Blackstone Group paid about $3.3 billion to Cardinal Health for the company in 2007 and renamed it Catalent. The U.S. headquarters is in Somerset, N.J., and the company has operations on five continents.

The 427,908-square-foot packaging plant on Red Lion Road that employs 535 is the company’s largest, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On the same plot is a clinical supply services facility employing 232 that Catalent will retain, along with a facility in Mount Laurel and packaging units outside the United States.

A Frazier Healthcare spokeswoman said a statement about the deal was being prepared.

The Philadelphia packaging plant is the only Catalent facility with unionized workers. In an SEC filing, Catalent said it recently reached an agreement on a revised pension plan with a union. A local AFL-CIO leader said United Steelworkers Local 286 represented union workers at Catalent. Unit leader Carlo Simone Jr. could not be reached for comment on what the sale might mean to workers.

Contact David Sell at 215-854-4506, dsell@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @PhillyPharma. Read his "PhillyPharma" blog on philly.com.

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