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Wyeth acquisition announced

ROUSES POINT The questionable future of one of the North Countrys largest employers appears to be questionable no more as the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals drug product manufacturing and packaging plant has been acquired. In a press conference held Wednesday at the Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department station, Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer led the announcement of the facilitys acquisition by Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, an emerging branded pharmaceutical company based in Cranford, N.J. Akrimax founders Joseph J. Krivulka and Leonard L. Mazur were in attendance as Gov. Spitzer proudly stated the acquisition will mean the retention of the facilitys workforce of more than 800 people, which was a major attraction for Akrimax in purchasing the facility. It is the quality of the workforce. It is the dedication, the integrity, the work ethic, the knowledge base, said Gov. Spitzer. That is the sort of teamwork and the sensibility that will make this and carry us forward. We will not only save jobs, we will grow jobs. This is something we all will benefit from, without any question at all, he said. Under the terms of the agreement, Wyeth and Akrimax will have a cooperative relationship during the transition which will conclude at the end of 2009. Akrimax has begun the transition by leasing the facility to Wyeth so the company may continue manufacturing its products as Akrimax integrates its own products into the facility. Wyeth will transfer operation of the drug product manufacturing and packaging plant to Akrimax late next year, maintaining the existing workforce to develop, manufacture and distribute pharmaceutical products from its own portfolio and other third-party contracts, said Mr. Krivulka. Its through our dogged determination of bringing this to closure and wanting this to happen, said Mr. Krivulka, who has 30 years of commercial pharmaceutical management and product experience. We not only bought a quality facility, but we believe the people in that facility are first-class, added Mr. Mazur, who also boasts a pharmaceutical career of more than 30 years. This facility has been open for 70 plus years. Its our intention it stays open for another 70 plus years. The announcement also noted the sale does not include the Wyeth chemical development pilot plant adjacent to the Rouses Point manufacturing site, where Wyeth employs approximately 90 people. Wyeth is expected to continue its operations at that facility as well as its research and development facility in Chazy and packaging facility located on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. In addition, the governor stated Wyeth also will add 63 new jobs for the facilities. David F. Champagne III, managing director for the Rouses Point Wyeth facility, said as a 22-year employee of Wyeth and as a member of the community, he was very pleased that this day has finally come. We started this process two years ago when we announced the closure and from day one, Wyeth has been working actively to find a buyer for this facility, said Mr. Champagne. Were really pleased were able to find a buyer such as Akrimax, thats going to continue with the facility in the pharmaceutical realm and use the equipment there and the people and the skills they have. Wyeth is not going away. We have facilities in the North Country and will continue to support the community, he added. When reached for comment following the announcement, Roger L. Peets, president of International Chemical Workers Union Local 95C, said he felt the news was very positive for a workforce that was uncertain of its future. The employees were notified a few hours prior to the announcement with many giving a sigh of relief. I think its very good news for the area. I think its good news for the employees here, said Mr. Peets. Its a big weight off most peoples shoulders, knowing that theres someone coming in here with a chance to continue employment for people in an area they dont want to leave, where they live. The mission to save Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and its employees began immediately following the news of the facilitys anticipated closure in October 2005, said Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce president Garry C. Douglas. Though the initial closure timeline was extended from the end of this year to the end of 2009, the chamber of commerce continued to work diligently with the Wyeth Transition Coordinating Council a body made up of government representatives, economic development professionals, business leaders and community members to provide assistance to employees affected by the announcement and to examine redevelopment opportunities. The closure of Plattsburgh Air Force Base nearly 10 years prior to the date of Wyeths closure announcement perhaps made the North Country more prepared to handle such a crisis, said Mr. Douglas, at least in the knowledge that a plan would need to be formulate in order to stabilize the local economy. That experience served us well, said Mr. Douglas. The North Country showed resilience and an ability to come together quickly in the sense of teamwork, searching for the positive way forward ... That resolve and teamwork, that positive commitment, got us down the road in the right direction. When Wyeth announced two years ago it was going to transition elsewhere, we had very good and smart people Leonard Mazur and others who created Akrimax who said, You know what? We think we can step in. We think we can forge a relationship with Wyeth and essentially buy the facility, buy the distribution rights, buy the intellectual properties and continue in place what is the foundation of our community. We know in a town the size of Rouses Point, to lose 800 jobs would be devastating, the governor added. The loss of Wyeths workforce has been averted, the governor said, with the assistance of Sen. Hillary Clinton and others at the state level. Through Empire State Development, Akrimax has received a $2 million capital grant. The corporation will also benefit from an additional $1 million economic development appropriation secured by Sen. Elizabeth OC. Little an investment Sen. Little considers well worth its return. What a testament this is to the North Country to the hard work, to the toughness, to the resilience and to the can-do attitude of people here in the North Country, said Sen. Little. How wonderful to invest in the North Country to show this facility can be something even greater than it is today. We couldnt be here without them. This is just the beginning. As Wyeth has been a cornerstone of the community for more than 70 years, Village Mayor George A. Rivers said word the facility has been saved comes as a relief to not only the employees, but residents as well. The village has always had an excellent relationship with [Wyeth]. Theres been some difficult years in the interim, but good things come to those who wait, said Mayor Rivers. We look forward to the same excellent working relationship with Akrimax that weve had with Wyeth. We feel, not only comfortable that these jobs are secure, but that there will be more in the future, said Gov. Spitzer. So, dont put up that for sale sign. Hold onto your home. The economy here is going to be sound, its going to be getting stronger, and were just terribly excited about where were headed. ROUSES POINT The questionable future of one of the North Countrys largest employers appears to be questionable no more as the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals drug product manufacturing and packaging plant has been acquired. In a press conference held Wednesday at the Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department station, Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer led the announcement of the facilitys acquisition by Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, an emerging branded pharmaceutical company based in Cranford, N.J. Akrimax founders Joseph J. Krivulka and Leonard L. Mazur were in attendance as Gov. Spitzer proudly stated the acquisition will mean the retention of the facilitys workforce of more than 800 people, which was a major attraction for Akrimax in purchasing the facility. It is the quality of the workforce. It is the dedication, the integrity, the work ethic, the knowledge base, said Gov. Spitzer. That is the sort of teamwork and the sensibility that will make this and carry us forward. We will not only save jobs, we will grow jobs. This is something we all will benefit from, without any question at all, he said. Under the terms of the agreement, Wyeth and Akrimax will have a cooperative relationship during the transition which will conclude at the end of 2009. Akrimax has begun the transition by leasing the facility to Wyeth so the company may continue manufacturing its products as Akrimax integrates its own products into the facility. Wyeth will transfer operation of the drug product manufacturing and packaging plant to Akrimax late next year, maintaining the existing workforce to develop, manufacture and distribute pharmaceutical products from its own portfolio and other third-party contracts, said Mr. Krivulka. Its through our dogged determination of bringing this to closure and wanting this to happen, said Mr. Krivulka, who has 30 years of commercial pharmaceutical management and product experience. We not only bought a quality facility, but we believe the people in that facility are first-class, added Mr. Mazur, who also boasts a pharmaceutical career of more than 30 years. This facility has been open for 70 plus years. Its our intention it stays open for another 70 plus years. The announcement also noted the sale does not include the Wyeth chemical development pilot plant adjacent to the Rouses Point manufacturing site, where Wyeth employs approximately 90 people. Wyeth is expected to continue its operations at that facility as well as its research and development facility in Chazy and packaging facility located on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. In addition, the governor stated Wyeth also will add 63 new jobs for the facilities. David F. Champagne III, managing director for the Rouses Point Wyeth facility, said as a 22-year employee of Wyeth and as a member of the community, he was very pleased that this day has finally come. We started this process two years ago when we announced the closure and from day one, Wyeth has been working actively to find a buyer for this facility, said Mr. Champagne. Were really pleased were able to find a buyer such as Akrimax, thats going to continue with the facility in the pharmaceutical realm and use the equipment there and the people and the skills they have. Wyeth is not going away. We have facilities in the North Country and will continue to support the community, he added. When reached for comment following the announcement, Roger L. Peets, president of International Chemical Workers Union Local 95C, said he felt the news was very positive for a workforce that was uncertain of its future. The employees were notified a few hours prior to the announcement with many giving a sigh of relief. I think its very good news for the area. I think its good news for the employees here, said Mr. Peets. Its a big weight off most peoples shoulders, knowing that theres someone coming in here with a chance to continue employment for people in an area they dont want to leave, where they live. The mission to save Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and its employees began immediately following the news of the facilitys anticipated closure in October 2005, said Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce president Garry C. Douglas. Though the initial closure timeline was extended from the end of this year to the end of 2009, the chamber of commerce continued to work diligently with the Wyeth Transition Coordinating Council a body made up of government representatives, economic development professionals, business leaders and community members to provide assistance to employees affected by the announcement and to examine redevelopment opportunities. The closure of Plattsburgh Air Force Base nearly 10 years prior to the date of Wyeths closure announcement perhaps made the North Country more prepared to handle such a crisis, said Mr. Douglas, at least in the knowledge that a plan would need to be formulate in order to stabilize the local economy. That experience served us well, said Mr. Douglas. The North Country showed resilience and an ability to come together quickly in the sense of teamwork, searching for the positive way forward ... That resolve and teamwork, that positive commitment, got us down the road in the right direction. When Wyeth announced two years ago it was going to transition elsewhere, we had very good and smart people Leonard Mazur and others who created Akrimax who said, You know what? We think we can step in. We think we can forge a relationship with Wyeth and essentially buy the facility, buy the distribution rights, buy the intellectual properties and continue in place what is the foundation of our community. We know in a town the size of Rouses Point, to lose 800 jobs would be devastating, the governor added. The loss of Wyeths workforce has been averted, the governor said, with the assistance of Sen. Hillary Clinton and others at the state level. Through Empire State Development, Akrimax has received a $2 million capital grant. The corporation will also benefit from an additional $1 million economic development appropriation secured by Sen. Elizabeth OC. Little an investment Sen. Little considers well worth its return. What a testament this is to the North Country to the hard work, to the toughness, to the resilience and to the can-do attitude of people here in the North Country, said Sen. Little. How wonderful to invest in the North Country to show this facility can be something even greater than it is today. We couldnt be here without them. This is just the beginning. As Wyeth has been a cornerstone of the community for more than 70 years, Village Mayor George A. Rivers said word the facility has been saved comes as a relief to not only the employees, but residents as well. The village has always had an excellent relationship with [Wyeth]. Theres been some difficult years in the interim, but good things come to those who wait, said Mayor Rivers. We look forward to the same excellent working relationship with Akrimax that weve had with Wyeth. We feel, not only comfortable that these jobs are secure, but that there will be more in the future, said Gov. Spitzer. So, dont put up that for sale sign. Hold onto your home. The economy here is going to be sound, its going to be getting stronger, and were just terribly excited about where were headed.

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