Looking to gain a foothold in Ireland? MSD puts shuttered site up for sale

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/Bigandt_Photography
Image: iStock/Bigandt_Photography
Merck & Co. has put an Irish small molecule plant up for sale after ceasing production late last year.

The facility in Swords, County Dublin had been earmarked for closure back in 2013​, but a spokesman for Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) – known as Merck & Co. in North America – confirmed to us “production ceased at the plant in December 2016 and MSD will exit in the Summer.”

As such, the 33 acre site is now available for sale through industrial agent, JLL.

According to JLL, “the property comprises 350,000 sq ft of flexible production, laboratory, utility, distribution and office space”​ and could be “of interest to existing global pharmaceutical users seeking to gain a foothold in the Irish Market.”

MSD’s decision to shutter the site was due to a network capacity and ongoing review of its manufacturing footprint following the merger with Schering-Plough​ in 2009, the company told this publication back in 2013.

The site – which manufactured formulated products in the areas of women’s health, anesthesia and psychiatry – is one of two Irish plants divested by MSD, the other an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in Rathdrum, County Wicklow put up or sale in 2013.

But despite this the Big Pharma firm has said it is committed to Ireland, investing in both capacities​ and staff​ at its biologics and vaccine manufacturing sites in Carlow, Cork and Tipperary.

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