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Merck to Cut Workforce, Close Research and Manufacturing Sites

Closed sign (Artaxerxes, Wikimedia Commons)Merck & Co. in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey announced today a consolidation of its research and manufacturing operations, reducing its workforce 15 percent and closing eight research and eight manufacturing sites. The reductions in sites and workers are part of Merck’s integration of facilities with Schering-Plough, following its acquisition in November 2009.

The company says the phasing out of its eight research labs and factories will help meet an overall target of $3.5 billion in savings by 2012. The first phases of the integration are expected to return from $2.7 to $3.1 billion in savings. Nonetheless Merck expects these first steps in the consolidation to cost between $3.5 to $4.3 billion.

In a press release today, Merck says it is exploring local partnerships, business development initiatives, and site sales to minimize the impact of these closings on communities. The company also says it will “continue to hire new employees in strategic growth areas of the business as necessary.”

Photo: Artaxerxes/Wikimedia Commons

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