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Merck to lay off 200 as part of 5-year reorganisation plan

Published on 18/07/17 at 09:57am

German drug manufacturer Merck has announced its intention to streamline its manufacturing processes across Europe as part of a five-year reorganisation programme with a goal of accelerating its production response time to meet customer demand by optimising and centralising filling and distribution of its chemical products.

The reorganisation will affect sites across Germany, with facilities closing in Steinheim, Eppelheim, Hohenbrunn and Berlin and operations relocated, resulting in around 200 job losses until 2022. Merck will instead refocus these operations at Darmstadt and Schnelldorf in Germany, Molsheim in France, and Buchs in Switzerland, investing €90 million across the four sites.

"Centralising filling of small quantities and their distribution will continue to increase our speed and responsiveness to customer requests," explained Udit Batra, CEO of Merck's Life Science business. "This is something that the acquired Sigma-Aldrich excelled in and we see positive impacts of this effort already in North America."

Merck acquired Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion in 2014 – a move which appears have spurred the new direction for the company, with many anticipating layoffs following the merger.

A spokesperson for the company added: “Further development of these Centers of Excellence in key European locations intends to reduce complexity of the Life Science global supply chain, while increasing production capacity to secure future supply, speed to market and service levels to customers.”

Matt Fellows

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