Teva to shut Sellersville plant by 2017

TEVA Pharmaceuticals in Sellersville. (Photo from eiassoc.com)
TEVA Pharmaceuticals in Sellersville. (Photo from eiassoc.com)
Posted: May 04, 2013

With net income down 26.7 percent for the first quarter of this year, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Thursday that it would close its Bucks County manufacturing plant in 2017.

The plant is on Cathill Road in West Rockhill Township and has a Sellersville address. About 450 people work there, according to a company spokeswoman, down from 472 as of Dec. 31, 2012, as noted in Teva's 2012 annual report on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About 40 people were notified in April that they would lose their jobs because of reduced demand for products made at the plant, according to the spokeswoman. She said an unknown number of positions will transfer to other facilities, and current employees will be encouraged to apply.

"The first impact is that more than 400 people will lose jobs, and the second impact is tax revenue," said West Rockhill Township Manager Greg Lippincott, referring to money paid directly to the township by the company and indirectly through income taxes paid by employees residing in nearby parts of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Teva helped with easements for walking trails on its property, said Lippincott, who hopes to join other public officials in trying to persuade Teva to change its mind.

"Teva has been a great corporate partner," Lippincott said.

Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County.

The four buildings in North Wales have leases that expire between 2013 and 2016, according to Teva's annual report. Teva also has a facility in New Britain, Bucks County, the lease for which expires in 2013.

The spokeswoman said there was no update on the other local facilities. The company said in December it was reassessing all of its worldwide locations.

In December, Teva said it had ceased planning for a $300 million facility on a brownfield site in Northeast Philadelphia. The only shovels that went into the ground at the site were ceremonial, during a gathering of city officials and other politicians in September 2011 held to announce the plans.

Teva previously said it would close a plant in Irvine, Calif., that employed 403 people as of Dec. 31.

Teva is the world's leader in generic drug sales, but the competition is gaining in that area of the pharmaceutical industry. In recent years, Teva has tried to diversify into brand-name drugs that it develops or were developed by companies it acquires. Those drugs, because they have patent protection and exclusivity in the market, bring in higher profits. That was the impetus in 2011 for the $6.8 billion purchase of Cephalon, based in Frazer, Chester County.

For the first quarter ending March 31, Teva reported revenue of $4.901 billion, compared with $5.102 billion for the same period in 2012. The 2013 first-quarter net income was $630 million, compared with $859 million for the same period in 2012.


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

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