The Ranbaxy pharmaceutical plant in Cashel, Co Tipperary is set to close with the loss of more than 100 jobs.
The facility is owned by Sun Pharma, which is the fifth largest drugs producer in the world. It took over Ranbaxy's international operations last year.
In a statement, the company said it was making the move as part of its “ongoing operations network review” and that redundancies can be expected in the coming months.
“Sun Pharma has decided to cease operations at its Cashel unit in Ireland,” it said. “As part of an ongoing operations network review, we continuously analyse our manufacturing capacity requirement to keep it in line with customer demand and avoid over-capacity.
“The Cashel facility closure is being implemented as part of this plan to right size the company’s global manufacturing activities. We expect to cease operations at Cashel by end of current calendar year.”
As part of the closure, Sun Pharma said it would move some laboratory roles to other facilities within its global operations’ network.
“The company will also engage with trade unions and employee representatives who are appointed by employees (not members of these trade unions) during the next few months,” continued the statement. “At the end of this period, if necessary, the company may proceed with redundancies.”
Trade union Unite, which represents around 70 workers at the facility, said that the closure would be a “significant blow” to Cashel and the southeast. The union said it would begin engaging with management on April 6th in a bid to secure the “best terms” for workers being made redundant.
Unite regional officer Tony Kelly said he was "very disappointed" with the news of the closure.
“Unite is very disappointed that Ranbaxy parent Sun Pharma has decided to close the Cashel plant having failed to find a buyer, especially as it is less than 12 months since the acquisition was made,” he said.
“This news will come as a blow not only to the employees but also to the Cashel area and to the South-East as a whole. From next week, Unite will be engaging with management to secure the best terms for our members, who have given long and dedicated service to the company.”