Germany's Merck to close Swiss pharma site, cut 500 jobs

24 April 2012 15:34  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Merck plans to close its Serono pharmaceuticals headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and cut about 500 jobs, as part of a planned efficiency programme, the Germany-based specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals firm said on Tuesday.

The company wants to eliminate existing duplications of functions resulting from maintaining two European headquarters, and Merck Serono intends to consolidate all headquarter functions in one campus in Darmstadt, Germany. It also plans to transfer key research and development positions from Geneva to Darmstadt, Boston in the US, and to Beijing, China.

As a consequence, Merck said that out of the 1,250 positions in Geneva, 750 would be transferred to other locations globally, while 500 positions would be axed.

Despite these planned measures, the group said  Merck Serono will maintain a manufacturing presence in Switzerland, continuing to manufacture biotech products in its biotech production sites in Aubonne and Corsier-sur-Vevey, Canton of Vaud.

Merck expects to implement the closure and job cuts in the first half of 2013.

“The planned measures for Merck Serono’s operations in Switzerland are needed to ensure our global competitive position in a rapidly changing market and to secure the long-term future of the company,” said Stefan Oschmann, a Merck executive board member with responsibility for the Serono division.

“We are committed to working closely with key stakeholders, especially affected employees, to find socially responsible solutions, including exploring potential entrepreneur partnership programmes and redeployment proposals,” Oschmann added.

In February, the company announced plans to job cuts but at the time did disclose details.

Merck acquired Serono in 2006.


By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653



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