Teva Pharmaceuticals to lay off 14000 employees worldwide, 1750 in Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem

Teva axing 14000 workers, putting R&D and manufacturing facilities on the block in massive restructuring

The job cuts are to occur over the next two years, with majority expected in 2018.

"Making workforce reductions of this magnitude is hard", Mr. Schultz wrote in a memo to employees.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday spoke with Teva CEO Kare Schultz, who was hired six weeks ago to turn the company's fortunes.

Schultz said to expect "double-digit plant closures" in the next two years.

Teva, the world's largest maker of generic drugs, employs more than 56,000 people.

The Israeli media have reported that Teva, one of Israel's largest employers, plans to fire half its Israeli workforce, eliminating 3,000 out of 6,300 jobs, including shuttering a research center in the coastal city of Netanya and selling a logistics plant in Shoham. "This will create more opportunities for those who remain with Teva".

Schultz said the company will be "respectful and transparent" and work closely with employee representatives and unions. "The plan announced today by the company is intended first and foremost to realize our common aspiration - to preserve Teva as a strong global company, based in Israel".

Teva axing 14000 workers, putting R&D and manufacturing facilities on the block in massive restructuring

Teva's bottom line has been hit by the expiration of patents on Copaxone, its flagship drug for multiple sclerosis; pricing pressure on its core generics business; and a $35 billion debt load taken on in its acquisition of the generics business of Allergan.

Teva's acquisition of Actavis, for $40.5 billion in cash and shares, included Actavis' commercial units, manufacturing operations, and R&D units related to generics, as well as the global over-the-counter (OTC) commercial unit, not including eye care products.

The Secretary general of Israel's former single central trade union, Avi Nikesson, has warned that general strike "in solidarity with dismissed workers" convened throughout Sunday morning would paralyze state enterprises, airports, Ports and central and local administrations as well as banks and Tel Aviv stock Exchange.

The two-year restructuring plan is meant to reduce Teva's cost base by $3 billion by the end of 2019, out of an estimated cost base for 2017 of $16.1 billion. This week Teva launched its generic version of Viagra, but Pfizer plans to launch a generic Viagra, too.

"Teva has succeeded thanks to grants and tax benefits it received from the state and thanks to developments by Israeli scientists", he said, adding: "We will fight for every employee". Over the past year, though, Teva has been in a financial tailspin. Teva took a $6.1 billion write-down on that unit and posted a quarterly net loss of $6.04 billion.

Relocating generic operations could improve operating efficiency, and some reports suggest Teva is looking to move its generic manufacturing out of Israel to lower-cost countries, Divan said.

In late November, the company announced a new organisational and leadership structure, including combining its speciality and generics commercial businesses into one. More than half of the reduction is expected to be achieved by the end of 2018.

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