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Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (WPI) Shuts Down Groveport Warehouse, Lays Off 55


5/15/2012 8:25:30 AM

Business First by Rick Rouan, Web coordinator

A New Jersey pharmaceutical company plans to lay off 55 Central Ohio employees this summer as it prepares to move its Groveport distribution center to Mississippi.

Anda Inc., a distribution subsidiary of Parsippany, N.J.-based Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE:WPI), will release the employees around July 5, according to a layoff notice filed with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The company also expects additional layoffs ahead of its Groveport facility’s closing by Dec. 31. Anda has about 100 employees in Groveport.

Watson is moving the 355,000-square-foot facility at 6500 Adelaide Court to Olive Branch, Miss., where it is building a 234,000-square-foot facility, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. About 67 percent of the company’s distribution sales were shipped from its Groveport facility last year.

The Mississippi facility is expected to open in the second quarter. Watson also operates a 150,000-square-foot facility in Weston, Fla., where its distribution arm is based.

Watson announced the Groveport facility’s closing in July 2011, foreseeing the end of a lease signed about 10 years ago, spokesman Charlie Mayr told Columbus Business First.

The facility originally was outfitted to support Anda Distribution and Andrx Corp., but the Andrx operations were moved to Illinois, leaving behind a vacuum in Groveport, he said.

The loss of the DHL Express Inc. hub operation in Wilmington also contributed to the decision to leave Ohio, Mayr said. In Olive Branch, the company will be closer to the Memphis operation of FedEx Corp., which is the company’s primary shipper, he said.

Watson specializes in generic drugs and is one of the top four generic companies in the world, according to its website. The company had net revenue of $4.6 billion in 2011. Last year, it launched 18 generic drugs, including an "authorized generic" version of Lipitor, according to its website.



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