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Dr. Reddy's to Add Positions

Dr. Reddy's To Add Positions [Bristol Herald Courier, Va.]

From Bristol Herald Courier (VA) (December 17, 2010)

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Dr. Reddy’s, an Indian generic-drug maker that recently agreed to buy Glaxo Smith Kline’s Bristol plant, will look to add jobs after it officially takes over in early to mid-2011, a Dr. Reddy’s official said Thursday.

"We look forward to scaling up the business and [we] shall take decisions accordingly on the manpower front," S Rajan, a spokesman at Dr. Reddy’s headquarters in Hyderabad, India, wrote in an e-mail reply regarding the Bristol GSK plant.

Rajan wouldn’t offer specific numbers on how many jobs Dr. Reddy’s might add at the GSK Bristol plant, which currently has 48 employees. But, Rajan said in his e-mail, buying the Industrial Drive site was "in line with [Dr. Reddy’s] strategy to significantly scale up our generics business in North America."

It was in November that Dr. Reddy’s -- the world’s second-largest maker of generic drugs -- announced the deal with Glaxo Smith Kline to buy the Bristol facility. The plant makes and packages Amoxcil and Augmentin, two of GSK’s oral penicillin products, for Glaxo’s U.S. market. Neither Dr. Reddy’s nor GSK would disclose the price for the sale, which should become official within several months.

The November announcement capped off a dramatic 12 months for the Bristol plant. At this time last year, GSK was ready to permanently close the plant, after spending much of 2008 and 2009 gradually laying off employees. But shortly before the Bristol site was set to close last year, Glaxo reversed its decision and kept the plant open -- though with a small staff.

Rajan said Dr. Reddy’s was attracted to the Bristol plant because it would help the company make an immediate impact in North America’s penicillin market -- an asset, he wrote, "that did not previously exist within Dr. Reddy’s."

Bristol and Sullivan County officials have hailed the Bristol GSK plant’s pending sale to Dr. Reddy’s because, they say, the Indian company is clearly serious about becoming a major force in America.

Bristol City Manager Jeffrey Broughton, for one, has estimated that Dr. Reddy’s could triple the number of jobs at the Bristol plant -- bringing the total workforce closer to its numbers before GSK began eliminating jobs two years ago.

Jennifer Armstrong, a spokeswoman at Glaxo’s U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, Pa., said the company agreed to sell the Bristol plant, in part, to make sure it had a long-term future here.

"GSK believes this agreement with Dr. Reddy’s is extremely positive for the future of the site [in Bristol]," Armstrong said in an e-mail reply. "This is a good deal for GSK."

Dr. Reddy’s is among several major Indian companies that have recently made major business deals in other countries -- with one eye on raising their global profiles.

Earlier this week, Lanco Infratech -- a leading Indian energy company -- spent $850 million to buy one of Australia’s largest coal mines. Pune, India-based Venky’s, which is Asia’s largest poultry company, spent $73 million in November to buy the Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League. That deal made Venky’s the first Indian owner of a soccer club in the EPL, which is generally regarded as the world’s No. 1 league. -- (276) 645-2512

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Posted: December 2010