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‘Business as usual’ at Allergan


Business as usual at Allergan, says chief

Takeover reports played down by MD of Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland

Áine Ryan

REPORTS in international and local media about a hostile takeover of global pharmaceutical company Allergan Inc have been played down by the chief of its Westport operation. Managing Director of Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland Pat O’Donnell told The Mayo News that the company ‘may be the subject of a proposed merger internationally’, but he stressed that such moves were nothing out of the ordinary.
He added that it is ‘business as usual for the team at the Westport plant, which is currently undergoing significant expansion’.
O’Donnell was responding to media reports that an activist investor, William Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management in New York, had joined forces with Canadian drugmaker, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, in an attempt to buy the company, which is worth $42 billion and is famous for manufacturing Botox.
Interestingly, other international media reports have confirmed that Allergan Inc had itself recently been involved in bids to takeover Dublin-based Shire Ireland, which is part of the global biopharmaceuticals company, Shire plc.  
Pat O’Donnell said: “We are a very successful company and these approaches happen from time to time. The Allergan team here in Westport are focused on the day job – delivering for our customers and patients while completing our current expansion programme successfully. The work currently underway highlights the strategic importance of the Westport campus in enabling Allergan to expand the manufacturing capability for BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A) and to develop a manufacturing base for the next generation of biologic products currently in the Allergan pipeline.”
He referred to the $350 million investment at the Westport facility, which was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in January 2012 and when completed will ‘support the expansion of manufacturing and development activities across the other franchises within the Allergan portfolio, from this location’.
The current expansion project for the new 135,000-square-foot Biologics facility involved the purchase of the adjacent Westport Technology Park and is scheduled for completion by 2016, with commercial production at the new plant expected to commence in early 2017. It will culminate in the employment of 200 more staff at the state-of-the-art facility.
Speaking at the launch of this major expansion in 2012, O’Donnell said it was a positive day for Allergan, its employees and the local community.
“This investment underscores the strategic importance of the Westport site within the Allergan manufacturing network. Based on Allergan’s present strategic plans, we anticipate that demand for Botox will continue to grow, fueled by recent approvals of the product for the treatment of neurogenic detrusor overactivity and the treatment of chronic migraine in many countries around the world.”

ESTABLISHED over 60 years ago, Allergan Inc has over 900 employees in Westport and 11,400 employees at facilities in over 100 countries, with its corporate headquarters in California. Allergan was established in Westport in 1977 and has repeatedly expanded over the last 36 years. The Westport facility is now the largest manufacturing plant within the company network, and it also has the largest number of Allergan staff in one location, outside of the company’s corporate headquarters.