Almac continues global expansion with multi-million pound Athlone acquisition

Craigavon pharmaceutical firm Almac has continued its global expansion, with the acquisition of major Athlone business BioClin Laboratories
Gareth McKeown

CRAIGAVON pharmaceutical firm Almac has continued its global expansion, with the acquisition of a major Athlone business and the promise of almost 150 new jobs in England.

The Almac Group has acquired internationally recognised analytical services company, BioClin Laboratories in what it is believed to be a multi-million pound deal, taking over its 14,000 sq foot facility at Garrycastle. The company has also recently completed a significant £5 million expansion of its existing analytical facilities at its global headquarters in Craigavon, with the opening of a new laboratory and office facility.

The developments follow the announcement of a multi-million pound expansion of Almac owned Arran Chemical Company, also based in Athlone, and acquired by the pharmaceutical giant in 2015. The investment has substantially increased manufacturing capacity at Arran, which specialises in the manufacture of products for the pharmaceutical industry.

Almac Sciences managing director Stephen Barr said the latest acquisition demonstrated the company's commitment to the global growth and development of the business.

“Adding BioClin’s highly complementary analytical capacity and technical expertise to our existing capabilities, along with investment in nearby Arran and the opening of our new lab in Craigavon, means that we can broaden our service offerings and address our global clients’ growing demands for a high quality, integrated, efficient service.”

Meanwhile the company expects 200 people to be employed at its pharmaceutical development and manufacturing facilities in Loughborough, England by 2021. Acquired in 2015, it provides a range of integrated services to the global pharmaceutical and biotech sectors and currently employs 55 staff. Since acquisition two years ago Almac has invested £16 million at the plant through building enhancements and the installation and validation of new technology to meet ongoing client demand.

Last year the company invested a significant sum in expanding its US headquarters site at Souderton in Pennsylvania in addition to leasing new office space in nearby Lansdale, while further considerable investment has been made in other operational sites in North Carolina, Ireland and Asia.

The Almac Group, headquartered in Craigavon, employs almost 5,000 people worldwide, the majority of which are based in Co Armagh. Established nearly two decades ago by the late Sir Allen McClay, last year the company reported turnover of £447 million and a healthy pre-tax profit of £26.8 million.

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