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Pfizer to sell 3 plants

October 24, 2003 17:01 IST

Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, has embarked on a restructuring of its operations in India and will soon put three of its five manufacturing facilities on the block. It will also look at brand acquisitions to strengthen its product portfolio.

The move is part of the ongoing operational integration of Pfizer India with the recently acquired Pharmacia Corporation's Indian arms, Pharmacia Healthcare and Pharmacia India, and Parke-Davis.

Pfizer has decided to put Pharmacia's Ankeleshwar unit up for sale. At the same time, following the merger with Parke-Davis, Pfizer India is set to invite bids for the sale of the latter's manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.

On a recast mode

Pharmacia's Ankeleshwar unit will be put up for sale

Pfizer India will invite bids for the sale of its manufacturing facility in Hyderabad

Pfizer's Chandigarh plant could also be shut

The company will consolidate its manufacturing operations in its Thane facility near Mumbai

The drug major is also studying the feasibility of its Chandigarh plant, where operations could soon be discontinued, and the unit put up for sale.

Pfizer consequently will consolidate its manufacturing operations in its Thane facility near Mumbai. It has invested around Rs 13.6 crore (Rs 136 million) to upgrade the facility.

Kewal Handa, executive director (finance), Pfizer, told Business Standard: "We are rationalising our manufacturing operations in India. We are trying to design the right mix of third-party manufacturing, outsourcing and in-house production.

"We have discontinued operations at Pharmacia's unit at Ankeleshwar. The board is yet to take a final call on the disposal of the unit. The products that were manufactured at this unit may be shifted to our Thane facility or may be given out for third-party manufacturing." A voluntary retirement scheme has been offered to its employees.

The other manufacturing unit of Pharmacia in Bangalore, which manufactures intra-ocular lenses, will be retained.

Pfizer's Chandigarh plant, a fermentation facility, produces oxytetracycline and its salts and salinomycin 350, catering to local demand, and chlopropamide, which is exported.

Parke Davis' plant has been closed for some time now and golden handshakes given to around 500 employees.

Pharmacia Corporation was globally acquired by Pfizer Inc, while Parke Davis' parent Warner Lambert was merged with Pfizer in 2000.

Pharmacia Corporation held a 75 per cent stake in its Indian arm, Pharmacia Healthcare (formerly Abbott) and Pharmacia India was a 100 per cent subsidiary of the US parent.
Rumi Dutta in Mumbai