Business

Patheon plant in Greenville idled by Matthew flooding

Contract drug manufacturer Patheon has temporarily closed its largest manufacturing plant in Greenville as a result of flooding on nearby roads triggered by Hurricane Matthew.

The Greenville facility, which employs more than 1,000 workers, was closed all last week and is expected to resume operations later this week, spokesman Tyler Gronbach said Monday.

Separately, medical products manufacturer West Pharmaceutical Services closed its 350-employee plant in Kinston for three days last week because of flooded roads. But the Pennsylvania-based company reported that it resumed operating normally on Monday.

Durham-based Patheon disclosed the temporary shutdown of its Greenville plant in a Securities and Exchange filing Friday. The company reported the plant suffered no damage but was closed “to ensure the safety of our employees traveling to and from work.”

“We elected to only have essential personnel come to the site,” Gronbach said. Gronbach said he had no information about how the shutdown would affect the pay of workers at the site.

Similarly, West Pharmaceutical spokeswoman Emily Denney wrote in an email that concern for the safety of its workers prompted last week’s temporary shutdown of its Kinston plant. After being closed Monday and Tuesday, the plant reopened on Wedensday and Thursday but then closed again on Friday “due to rising flood waters in the communities in which our employees live.”

Denney also said West isn’t disclosing information about employee compensation during the shutdown.

West makes components for syringes and injection devices in Kinston. The company has had a presence in Kinston since 1975, but the original plant was rebuilt in 2004 following an explosion that killed six people and injured several dozen.

Patheon, which has 8,800 employees and contractors worldwide, also closed its plant in Florence, S.C., for three days last week as a result of a loss of power caused by the hurricane.

In addition, a Patheon plant in Puerto Rico was recently closed for a couple of days because of a power outage. That power outage resulted from a fire at a power plant and wasn’t related to Hurricane Matthew.

None of Patheon’s facilities suffered any damage.

Gronbach said Patheon is still assessing the financial impact of these temporary closures on the company’s fiscal fourth quarter results and will update investors next month. The company doesn’t expect any impact on its fiscal 2017 results.

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Tim Evans issued a research note estimating that the three temporary closures will reduce Patheon’s fiscal fourth quarter revenue by $20 million to $25 million. The company generated $482 million in revenue for its fiscal third-quarter that ended July 31, up 8 percent from a year earlier.

Patheon shares closed Monday at $28.05, up 55 cents. The company, which has 400 drug industry clients and manufactures 25 of the 100 top-selling drugs, went public at $21 per share in July.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii

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