Pfizer puts County Limerick plant up for sale

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

PFIZER, the giant multinational which took over Wyeth in Askeaton over two years ago, is now hoping to sell off the plant as a going concern.

PFIZER, the giant multinational which took over Wyeth in Askeaton over two years ago, is now hoping to sell off the plant as a going concern.

The Askeaton plant is one of the largest purpose-built baby formula plants in the world and has been enormously successful in exporting its product to more than 50 markets worldwide - with a third of its 50 million kilogrammes of product destined for Europe.

Askeaton is one of five such plants which Pfizer has now put on the market.

The decision to put its entire nutritional food sector on the market came last summer, a spokeswoman for Pfizer told the Limerick Leader.

The sector generated sales of $1.867 billion last year for Pfizer - but the spokeswoman declined to give any specific reason for the decision to sell.

“The current status is that we are looking at the strategic options,” the spokeswoman said. The entire sector was “under review”, she said and it was not company policy to comment on strategic issues. “The process is ongoing,” she said.

The Askeaton plant employs over 500 staff - down by several dozen since the take-over in 2009 -and currently employs about 4,300 in Ireland.