Olds pharmaceutical plant saved
A highly specialized manufacturing facility in Olds that was slated for closure at the end of this month appears to have a new lease on life.
The Banner Pharmacaps plant, which produces and packages nutritional and pharmaceutical products, has been sold to Advanced Orthomolecular Research of Calgary, confirmed a spokesperson with Banner Pharmacaps’ parent company, Patheon Inc. of North Carolina.
He said the deal was expected to close around Oct. 31.
Patheon bought Banner Pharmacaps from Dutch company VION N.V. a year ago, and then announced in March that it planned to close the Olds plant while continuing to operate other Banner Pharmacaps manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Mexico City and the Netherlands.
Just over 100 people remain on the job at the 5807 47th Ave. plant, which has specialized equipment like filtration and pressure differential systems needed for the production of nutritional and pharmaceutical products.
Advanced Orthomolecular manufactures a broad range of health supplements.
“It looks like a number of the jobs are going to stay intact,” said Norm McInnis, the town’s chief administrative officer.
The Town of Olds played an active role in trying to find a buyer for the plant, which has operated in Olds since 1981.
“We were doing as much as we could,” said McInnis. “We knew the plant was valuable, just because of the certification that it has.”
He added that Olds has become a vibrant community that’s attractive to employers.
An official at the Banner Pharmacaps plant said Advanced Orthomolecular had not yet indicated what it intends to do with the facility, but he’s optimistic.
The Advocate was unable to obtain a comment from Advanced Orthomolecular.