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Elanco moves closer to BIVI deal

By Staff | Jan 11, 2017

The Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. plant at 800 Fifth St. N.W. is being purchased by Elanco U.S. Inc. That company announced Jan. 3 that it has completed the deal, but the transaction won’t be finalized until Jan. 27 because of a Federal Trade Commission comment period

FORT?DODGE – The deal that will result in a new owner for a major veterinary medicine research and manufacturing site on the northwest side of Fort Dodge is advancing.

Elanco U.S. Inc. announced Tuesday that it has completed its $885 million purchase of the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. plant as well as vaccine product lines for dogs and cats.

However, the deal won’t be finalized until a 30-day comment period imposed by the Federal Trade Commission ends on Jan. 27.

“It appears everything is going to go through at the end of the comment period,” said Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

“We feel that this will be a win-win and really add to the Elanco portfolio with a product line that has been growing here,” he added.

Keri McGrath Happe, a spokeswoman for Elanco U.S. Inc., acknowledged that the 30-day comment period is ongoing.

“But the parties were cleared to close the transaction following the vote by the FTC commissioners late last year, which is not unusual,” she said.

“We’re excited to further increase our commercial, R and D, manufacturing and other capabilities in vaccines through the addition of knowledgeable and experienced personnel at the Fort Dodge site,” she added. “This site is unique for Elanco in that it is a fully integrated R and D and manufacturing facility, including clinical trial facilities.”

The deal was first announced on Oct. 5.

Plautz had previously said that the new plant owner plans to keep all of the roughly 500 employees and complete about $100 million worth of improvement projects now underway at the 800 Fifth St. N.W. site.

“We’re excited to work with our new partner in Elanco,” Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich said.

Bemrich said the community developed a good relationship with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

“We’re sad to see them go, but we’re excited to start a new page in the book with Elanco,” he said.

The mayor said the plant employees he’s talked to are “very optimistic” about the incoming new owner.

Webster County Supervisor Merrill Leffler described the deal as “a sign of good things happening around the county and good things to come.”

Elanco U.S. Inc. is a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co. It is based in Greenfield, Indiana.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., based in Germany, is selling the plant to comply with requirements imposed as part of a separate transaction it is involved in. In December 2015, the company announced a deal with Sanofi, based in France.

Under the terms of that deal, Sanofi will give Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. its animal health business, called Merial.

That company had a plant at 2116 Eighth Ave. S. from 1989 to 2000.

In return, Boehringer Ingelheim will give Sanofi its consumer health care businesses, except those based in China, and cash.

In an effort to prevent Boehringer Ingelheim from becoming an unfair monopoly after it acquires Merial, the Federal Trade Commission is requiring it to sell some of its pet vaccine capacity before it approves the deal. To comply with that requirement, company leaders decided to sell the local plant.

The company’s upcoming departure from Fort Dodge mirrors its arrival.

It bought the plant in 2009 after the Federal Trade Commission ordered Pfizer Inc. to divest some of its assets after it bought Wyeth, the parent company of Fort Dodge Animal Health.

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