Bayer Details Layoffs | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 2, 2007

Bayer Details Layoffs

Integration of Schering will cost 1,000 U.S. jobs
Department: Business

Bayer has provided more detail about the roughly 6,100 layoffs it plans over the next two years as part of the integration of fellow German drugmaker Schering AG. The news caps a week of cutbacks in the pharmaceutical industry.

When Bayer swept in to rescue Schering from a hostile bid from Merck KGaA last spring, it acknowledged that about 10% of the combined pharmaceutical staff of roughly 60,000 would be shed. The company aims to save about $925 million annually when the consolidation is completed in 2009.

Overall, Bayer says, 1,400 of the cuts will come from research and 1,850 from manufacturing. A substantial portion of the research streamlining appears to be happening in the U.S. In November, Bayer said it would close R&D sites in West Haven, Conn., and Richmond, Calif. The closures will result in the loss of about 600 jobs, primarily in R&D. The company expects to pare back an additional 400 positions in the U.S.

However, most of the cuts will come from Europe, where 3,150 jobs are expected to be eliminated. Not surprisingly, German operations will be hardest hit, losing about 1,500 positions. Even after the cuts, Berlin will still be Bayer's biggest pharmaceutical site and the headquarters of the firm's drug business, called Bayer Schering.

About 750 job cuts will come from Asia, and Latin American and Canadian operations will lose a combined 1,200 positions.

Earlier this week, Abbott Laboratories said it had eliminated nearly 200 positions, primarily scientists at its Lake County, Ill., site, after exiting discovery-phase research in metabolic diseases. AstraZeneca also provided details of a previously announced plan to cut 3,000 jobs. The company is shedding about 850 positions at its Swedish production facilities, 750 jobs at its Macclesfield, England, site, and at least 400 jobs in the U.S.

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