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Published on March 21, 2024
Genentech Exits Vacaville as Lonza Seals $1.2 Billion Acquisition, Promising a Future of Growth and Employee RetentionSource: City of Vacaville Government

The pharmaceutical landscape is set for a shakeup in Vacaville, California, as Roche's biologic production powerhouse Genentech packs its bags and hands over the keys to Lonza. The deal was inked at a cool USD 1.2 billion, changing the game for one of the world's largest biologics manufacturing sites by volume. Mayor John Carli couldn't hide his enthusiasm, declaring to the City of Vacaville Government, "It is an exciting time for biotechnology and biomanufacturing in Vacaville."

Offering employment to the existing workforce of approximately 750, Lonza isn't only opening a new chapter for the city but also for these individuals, each of whom has been guaranteed continued employment through the transition. In a statement obtained by Roche, Susanne Hundsbaek-Pedersen, Global Head of Pharma Technical Operations announced, "We are particularly pleased that the employees at the site will be offered employment by Lonza."

Much more than just a cash transition, this acquisition lays the foundation for significant industry ripple effects. Lonza's strategy promises about CHF 500 million to upgrade the Vacaville facility, aiming to hoist it into the big leagues of next-gen biologics manufacturing. The existing 330,000-liter capacity says plenty about scale, but it's the prospective boost in output and innovation that whispers (rather loudly) of potential. As reported by Lonza, the company updates its Mid-Term Guidance 2024-2028, now expecting sales growth to leap from 11-13% CAGR to 12-15%.

However, the employees at the site were greeted with news that might as well have been packaged with a shiny red bow. They have been given the chance to maintain their livelihoods by continuing their work under Lonza's banner. Walking the fine line between corporate strategy and community welfare, Mayor Carli supports the spirit of rejuvenation as he told the City of Vacaville Government, "Looking ahead, we are excited about the continued growth and innovation that Lonza will bring to Vacaville."

The transaction anticipated to be sealed by H2 2024, is still dancing through regulatory approvals but once it's done, it'll bring Lonza's East Coast operations into a harmonious bicoastal marriage with its new West Coast facility.