Effects of Pfizer's Wyeth buyout unknown locally

TRENTON, N.J. - Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. will acquire Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in a reported $68 billion deal.

The announcement was made in a joint press release Jan. 26, in which both parties stated the combined company will have product offerings in "numerous growing therapeutic areas, a strong product pipeline, leading scientific and manufacturing capabilities, and a premier global footprint in health care."

The announcement also touts the merger as creating "one of the most diversified companies in the global health care industry." "Wyeth and Pfizer are highly complementary businesses, and together we can build the best diversified health care company in the world," stated Bernard J. Poussot, Wyeth chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We believe we can better execute our strategy and can accomplish far more together in the years ahead than either company could have achieved on its own."

The impact of the merger on the Wyeth facilities in Rouses Point and Chazy, which employ 575 and 300 people, respectively, is unknown at this point, according to Wyeth spokesman Douglas Petkus.

"No specific decisions have yet been made regarding any job reductions or any facilities," said Petkus.

There was also no word from Wyeth what effect the deal will have on the scheduled transition of Akrimax becoming the employer of record at the Rouses Point facility Jan. 1, 2010.

"It's premature to even speculate about that," said Petkus. "We might know more as time evolves before the deal closes."

However, Timothy J. Soule, Akrimax vice president of human resources and government affairs, said the deal should have no impact on the transition and that Akrimax "remains committed to our business plan and moving forward" in taking control of the facility.

"We remain actively aggressive in marketing the facility," Soule said, referring to attracting pharmaceutical manufacturing contracts.

Pfizer and Wyeth expect the transaction to close at the end of the third quarter or during the fourth quarter later this year.

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