Medtronic Orders Employees to Evacuate California Facilities

Published: Oct 10, 2017

Medtronic Orders Employees to Evacuate California Facilities
October 10, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

MINNEAPOLIS – Days after Medtronic resumed some manufacturing in its Puerto Rico facilities following the devastation from Hurricane Maria, the company has been forced to suspend operations at four Northern California facilities and evacuate employees due to the threat of wildfires.

Deadly fires are burning a swath across much of the region, consuming woodland areas, as well as residential and business districts. More than 1,500 buildings, home and businesses, have been destroyed by the fires, according to NBC. This morning the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Medtronic evacuated four facilities in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa, Calif. The evacuation was ordered by fire officials, the Star-Tribune said, citing Medtronic spokesman Fernando Vivanco.

"We are closely monitoring the wildfires in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, and our first priority is the safety of our employees, many of whom are being evacuated," Vivanco said in an email to the publication. "We have initiated our business continuity plans and are accounting for and keeping in contact with employees in the area."

It was unclear how many Medtronic employees typically work at those facilities. The Star-Tribune said the Medtronic facilities in the area include the administrative offices and research-and-development facilities for Medtronic's coronary devices division. It is not yet known when the area will be deemed safe for Medtronic to resume operations.

More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from the area, NBC said. The wildfires stretch across eight California counties, an area of about 114 square miles, according to reports.

In late September, Medtronic saw its Puerto Rico facilities temporarily shuttered when Hurricane Maria slammed into the island. The four facilities on the island were closed ahead of the storm. The company said each of its sites in Puerto Rico sustained some damage, but the buildings “fared well.” Last week Medtronic said that all four of the facilities now have “some level” of manufacturing restored.

Limited production resumed at the facilities on Oct. 2. The sites are being supported by backup generators and as more order is restored to Puerto Rico in the coming weeks, Medtronic said it anticipates manufacturing to “gradually ramp up.” Due to the severity of Hurricane Maria, Medtronic has braced itself for an estimated $250 million blow to revenue and non-GAAP net earnings for the second quarter. Medtronic warned that those numbers could change due to the ongoing recovery efforts.

Medtronic though said it anticipates the “expected strength of new product demand, particularly in the Cardiac and Vascular Group and Diabetes Group” to mitigate those losses. In September, the company’s HeartWare HVAD System was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a destination therapy for patients with advanced heart failure who are not candidates for heart transplants.

Shares of Medtronic are trading at $77.04 as of 12:17.

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