Banner Pharmacaps closure costs Olds 130 jobs

One of the biggest employers in Olds is ceasing operations there — putting more than 100 people out of work.

One of the biggest employers in Olds is ceasing operations there — putting more than 100 people out of work.

The Banner Pharmacaps plant will close by Oct. 31, its parent company Patheon Inc. (TSX:PTI) has confirmed. The news was contained in a March 8 release related to Patheon’s first quarter financial results.

In that release, the global company said closing its manufacturing facilities in Olds will cost approximately $3.7 million in severance and retention expenses, as well as $1.5 million in associated costs. It added that the action is expected to save $8 million a year.

Olds Mayor Judy Dahl said the closure of the Banner Pharmacaps plant will be “a huge economic loss” for the town.

In an investor conference call, Patheon chief financial officer Stuart Grant said shuttering the Olds plant will result in the elimination of about 130 positions.

Olds Coun. Harvey Walsh acknowledged that some of those workers commuted to Olds from elsewhere.

“There are also a fair bit that live in Olds also,” he said, pointing out that he knows local couples who both work at the plant.

Many of the positions are highly specialized, said Walsh, so alternate employment may not be readily available for the displaced workers.

Operating in Olds since 1981, Banner Pharmacaps produced and enclosed nutritional and pharmaceutical products in soft gelatin capsules.

It shipped these in bulk form, or in airtight blister packaging or bottles.

In addition to the Olds plant, Banner Pharmacaps has facilities in North Carolina, Mexico City and the Netherlands.

Patheon announced last October that it had struck a US$255 million deal to buy Banner Pharmacaps from Dutch company VION N.V. The sale was completed in December.

Walsh said the town knew changes were possible as a result of the sale, but wasn’t aware until Friday’s disclosure that the plant would close.

“It was a shock,” he said, adding that the matter was discussed at a council meeting on Monday.

In addition to the job losses, the closure of the plant will result in a loss of tax revenues, said Walsh.

Banner Pharmacaps’ facilities, at 5807 47th Ave., were purpose-built with specialized equipment like filtration and pressure differential systems.

“Hopefully somebody else steps into that facility,” said Walsh, who is the current chair of Central Alberta Economic Partnership — a consortium of communities and other interests in the region that promotes economic development.

Dahl said the town will work with the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development to decide how best to proceed.

Patheon CEO James Mullen explained the rationale for the plant closure during the investor conference call.

“The decision was primarily driven by current resources and volume demand at the site, as well as our goal to fully optimize available capacity with a network of all Patheon and Banner sites.”

He said the company is working to transfer the Olds plant’s production to other locations.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Central Alberta experiencing a growing cockroach problem

Travellers unwittingly bringing back pests from their trips

New trial for couple convicted of unlawful confinement in citizen’s arrest

Ontario’s top court has ordered a new trial for a Caledon, Ont.,… Continue reading

Alberta Opposition asks auditor general to review Kenney adviser’s London trips

EDMONTON — The Opposition in Alberta is demanding multiple spending investigations, including… Continue reading

Arrest made after cube van in Calgary involved in multiple overnight crashes

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a man was high… Continue reading

Investigation reveals careless cooking cause of Manitoba triple-fatal fire

PLUMAS, Man. — Investigators have determined that careless cooking caused a mobile… Continue reading

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to fire Don Cherry?

Do you agree with the decision to fire Don Cherry for his… Continue reading

CTV, Jessica Allen apologize for her hockey remarks after Don Cherry’s firing

TORONTO — CTV says it is apologizing to anyone who was offended… Continue reading

High tides surge through Venice, locals rush to protect art

VENICE, Italy — Exceptionally high tidal waters surged through Venice again on… Continue reading

CFL stadium group submits revised plan to Halifax Regional Council

HALIFAX — The business group that wants to build a 24,000-seat stadium… Continue reading

CREA: national home sales up 12.9 per cent in October compared with last year

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of home… Continue reading

Cannabis producer Green Organic Dutchman shares fall after it reports $20.1M loss

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. shares fell sharply… Continue reading

Venezuela’s decline poses challenges for Liberal minority government

OTTAWA — The ripples from Venezuela’s collapse are shifting Canada’s Western Hemisphere… Continue reading

Most Read