Sanofi decided to keep its outsourcing chemicals business

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced on Friday that it has decided to keep its activity of subcontracting chemical active ingredients, thus excluding the options of a sale or a joint venture, much to the relief of the employees of the two French factories concerned.

This decision was taken "given the recent improvement in results" of this activity and its "promising prospects" for development, according to a statement from the group forwarded to AFP.

Last fall, Sanofi decided to split its chemistry business into two entities, one for its own needs and the other for subcontracting.

This second entity, created since the January 1er, brings together three factories of the group in Elbeuf (Seine-Maritime), Vertolaye (Puy-de-Dôme) and Ujpest, inHungary. Either 1.600 employees, approximately 1.100 on the two French sites.

500 also has about XNUMX employees in R & D and marketing, a Sanofi spokesperson told AFP.

The group has invested 230 million euros in the modernization of its factories in Elbeuf and Vertolaye over the last five years, said the president of Sanofi France, Philippe Luscan, during a round table at the French National Assembly. February, where he had been asked about the future of these sites.

This activity manufactures for other actors in the pharmaceutical sector active ingredients such as vitamins, hormones, antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. It represents a significant annual turnover of about 450 million euros, but its margins are low.

Until now, the group has been looking at three options for this entity: its continuation within the group, an assignment or a joint venture, and planned to settle by the end of the year.

The Sanofi France unions on Friday hailed the abandonment of the divestiture project, which worried them the most and which they said was the most likely option.

The CFDT Chimie welcomed in a press release the "choice of reason" to maintain internally "the skills that have contributed and continue to contribute to the development of Sanofi".

"We are very happy with this decision," said AFP Thierry Bodin, head of CGT at Sanofi. "But we still want to confirm that it's final, it's not just for a few months," he said.

Sanofi separated at the beginning of the year from Merial, its animal health subsidiary, sold to the German laboratory Boehringer Ingelheim, and seeks to sell by the end of 2018 its European activities in generic drugs. These concern about 3.000 jobs, mainly in the Czech Republic and Romania.