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Allergan CEO: ‘The cuts are done’ at layoffs-plagued Irvine campus

June 25, 2015
Life sciences
The good news for Allergan’s ex-headquarters in Irvine, CA: CEO Brent Saunders says the operations there are still key to the company. More good news: The layoffs that hit that site are now over and done, he says.
 
The not so good news, at least for the workers at Allergan’s latest takeover target Kythera? Job cuts would be coming to that operation, though Allergan would “keep the vast majority of employees,” Saunders told the Los Angeles Times.
 
Those must be welcome words in Irvine, which has suffered a series of job cuts–not to mention months of uncertainty about its fate. Allergan spent much of last year fighting a long-and-nasty battle against a hostile bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and finally inked a merger deal with Actavis to quash that Valeant offer completely. Along the way, Allergan promised 1,500 job cuts to boost margins, and according to state filings, let loose 500 workers in Irvine before Actavis took over earlier this year.
 
After that, Actavis notified California officials that it planned to lay off another 577 people at the Irvine campus, as it worked to integrate operations; the job cuts were part of a $1.8 billion set cost-squeezing moves Actavis outlined when it agreed to buy Allergan. Earlier this month, Actavis officially adopted the Allergan name as a testament to its ambitions in branded pharmaceuticals.
 
Now, apparently, those workforce cuts are over, leaving 2,100 workers at the Irvine site, the LA Times says. Before the layoffs began last year, the site hosted more than 3,000 workers. “You are going to see a few thousand employees remain at that space [in Irvine],” Saunders told the newspaper. “The cuts are done. There is no second shoe to drop. The people who are there are there.”
 
Not so much at Kythera, based in nearby Westlake Village. Allergan snapped up the company in a $2.1 billion deal earlier this month, with high hopes for Kythera’s double-chin injection Kybella and an in-development hair loss treatment. Allergan figures it can easily fold Kybella into its aesthetics business–which of course is anchored by Botox–and use the double-chin fighter to help it build sales in men.
 
Allergan will keep the Westlake facility and most–but not all–of the Kythera workforce, Saunders said, adding that his company “[has] the infrastructure in order to invest and launch this product. It would have been much more difficult for Kythera to do on their own.”
 
By Tracy Staton
 

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