300 to lose jobs as Lincoln County Actavis plant shuts down

elyportillo@charlotteobserver.comNovember 11, 2013 

A Lincoln County pharmaceutical plant is set to close, costing about 310 workers their jobs, global conglomerate Actavis PLC said Monday.

Actavis said the process of closing the 150,000-square-foot Lincolnton plant will proceed gradually, with the plant closing by mid-2015.

Company spokesman Charlie Mayr said the workers who are losing their jobs will receive severance pay and other benefits.

“We had town hall meetings with employees last week,” Mayr said. “We basically are telling employees in advance. It’s not the best of news, but we try to be responsible.”

Prescription drugs made at the Lincolnton plant include creams and ointments. Manufacturing of those products will move to an Actavis facility in Salt Lake City, Mayr said. The Salt Lake City plant has enough excess production capacity to handle the products made in Lincolnton, which will cut costs.

Manufacturing for the over-the-counter drugs made in Lincolnton, including antibiotic creams, children’s ibuprofen and analgesic suppositories, will be shifted to third-party contractors.

“The current competitive environment makes the outsourcing of the production of these products more cost-effective,” Mayr said.

In August, Lincoln County had an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, above the statewide rate of 8.3 percent.

Actavis has operations in more than 60 countries, and it reported revenue of $2 billion in its most recent quarter, up 57 percent from a year ago.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter @ESPortillo

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