ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Bausch & Lomb, the global eye health company, today announced its intent to consolidate worldwide contact lens manufacturing. The company proposes to begin migrating most of its global contact lens production to its existing sites in Waterford, Ireland, and Rochester, N.Y.
As a result, the company is proposing a phased withdrawal from its production facility in Livingston, Scotland, during 2010 and early 2011. It will shortly enter into a 90-day consultation period with employees from that site.
“Considering our growth plans in the coming years, we believe it’s better to focus our resources and attention on just two primary contact lens plants, freeing cash for reinvestment into the business,” said Gerald M. Ostrov, chairman and chief executive officer. “We recognize the significant impact to our Livingston employees, their families and the community, and note this is by no means a reflection on our employees’ professionalism, dedication, or efforts. We will do everything within our ability to ensure that their needs and concerns are listened to with the utmost respect.”
The company undertook an extensive review of multiple factors before recommending to consolidate production at its Ireland and U.S. sites, including proximity to established research and development resources, total cost savings, global operational efficiencies, and future investment potential as its contact lens business grows.
“It became very clear to our senior leadership team — following our detailed analysis — that company-owned sites in Rochester and Waterford held a strong advantage in most major assessment criteria. The long-term cost savings alone are hundreds of millions of dollars,” continued Mr. Ostrov. “At the same time, this will better position us to more rapidly grow production volumes as we increase professional and consumer contact lens demand worldwide.”
The company has also engaged the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise in discussions regarding the matter during the past several weeks, and it will continue these discussions during the consultation period.
As part of the proposed consolidation, SofLens® daily disposable lens manufacturing lines would be moved from Livingston to Waterford and Rochester over the course of the next year. The Waterford plant already manufactures this product. In conjunction, production lines for PureVision® SVS lenses would be moved from Waterford to Rochester, joining already existing PureVision lines at that plant. The company has taken multiple measures to ensure uninterrupted supplies of all products to eye care professionals and consumers.
The collective moves of these highly automated lines would be expected to create approximately 30 new positions in Rochester during 2010, but no employment increase in Waterford. The company proposal would affect approximately 500 employees in Livingston on a staggered basis through the next 14 to 18 months.
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About Bausch & Lomb
Bausch & Lomb is dedicated to bringing visionary ideas to eye health. Its core businesses include contact lenses and lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. The Bausch & Lomb name is one of the best-known and most respected healthcare brands in the world. Founded in 1853, the company is headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Its products are available in more than 100 countries. More information is available at www.bausch.com.
SoftLens and PureVision are trademarks of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated.