Kenny says Bristol-Myers Squibb decision ‘a vote of confidence’

Move to create 400 jobs at plant and 1,000 in construction phase

American pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is to create up to 400 new jobs in Dublin as part of a $900 million (€720 million) investment in a new plant in Blanchardstown.

The 30,000-square metre project will house six 15,000-litre bioreactors and a purification area as well as office and laboratory space. The facility will be built on the grounds of the company’s existing pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Cruiserath, Co Dublin, and is due to be completed by 2019.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the decision a “really strong vote of confidence for Ireland” particularly after the decision to close the controversial “Double Irish” tax loophole in the budget.

Speaking at the New York stock exchange, Mr Kenny said that the jobs were an example of a global company making a decision to invest because of “the ease of being able to do business” in Ireland.


Mr Kenny was speaking before ringing the morning bell at the New York Stock Exchange Euronext on Wall Street. He was accompanied by Thomas Farley, chief executive of NYSE Group with Irish tricolour flags around him and against the backdrop of a large American flag.

The Taoiseach and the IDA lobbied intensively for the investment which was signed off at a meeting between Mr Kenny and Bristol-Myers Squib chief executive Lamberto Andreotti in New York on Thursday.

While at the New York exchange, Mr Kenny mingled with traders and met Jim Cramer, the host of Squawk on the Street, the CNBC stock-market television programme, and staff, including the exchange’s chief carpenter Martin Murphy who comes from Swinford, Co Mayo.

The investment of almost € 1 billion, the first multinational investment since the tax changes in last month’s budget, will lead to 1,000 construction jobs in addition to 400 high-skilled research roles.

The company’s decision came down to the “talent pool” available to multinational companies in Ireland, the Taoiseach said.

“In the context of the future and where they’re going with data cancer, these are the kind of people that they need, really high-end, quality jobs and that’s the big signal about Ireland,” he said.

The country saw off strong competition from Singapore to land the investment by the company in a new plant in Blanchardstown.

“It’s the effective response to issues that were raised about how you can do business in the country,” said Mr Kenny on the win.

The full cost of the facility, expected to be finalised in the second half of 2015, is anticipated to be approximately $900 million.

"This facility will be the second biggest investment won by IDA's life sciences division and is a major vote of confidence in Ireland's ability to win large-scale capital investment projects," IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said.

He said the planned facility will be dedicated to the production of biologic medicine (medication genetically engineered from a living organism).

Bristol-Myers Squibb chief executive Lamberto Andreotti said the investment reflects the increasingly important role that biologic medicines will play in the future.

“For 50 years, Bristol-Myers Squibb has maintained a significant manufacturing presence in Ireland, and we look forward to building on that legacy through this significant expansion of our manufacturing capability,” he added.

Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash said the announcement is a huge boost for the construction sector with 1,000 jobs expected to be created as part of the building programme.

“Ireland is competing on the world stage to attract such major inward investment and we are winning.”

PharmaChemical Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the Irish pharmaceutical and chemicals industry, welcomed the announcement, saying Ireland is second only to the US as a location for the manufacture of biotech derived pharmaceuticals.

PCI Director Matt Moran said it brings the amount invested by the industry to over €3 billion in new capital.

“It sends a clear message that Ireland has moved past the challenges presented by the so called patent cliff and is poised for a new phase of growth.”

Dr Reg Shaw, CEO of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), said Bristol Myers Squibb’s decision to develop nearly a billion dollar biopharma facility in Dublin is “a gamechanger”.

“The biopharma industry is continuing to show impressive growth with 50 per cent of medicines in the global pipeline derived from biotechnology. Worldwide sales of biopharmaceuticals were estimated at $163 billion in 2012 with seven of the top ten bestselling pharmaceutical products coming from biotech,” he said.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global bio-pharmaceutical company specialising in innovative medicine to treat serious illness, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and psychiatric disorders. The company employs over 27,000 people worldwide.

Earlier this year, the company announced 160 job losses in Dublin.