Bristol Myers Squibb strikes deal to sell NY site to South Korean conglomerate — but it's keeping quiet on the details
Bristol Myers Squibb’s manufacturing facility in East Syracuse, NY, is about to be swallowed up by one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea.
Lotte Corporation and BMS unveiled a fresh deal for the site on Friday while keeping most of the details — including the financing — under wraps. BMS even declined to disclose the site’s square footage in an email to Endpoints News.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that the deal cost Lotte $160 million. In return, the conglomerate gets the site, equipment and a workforce with “technical capabilities and expertise.”
How many people is that? Syracuse.com reported that a team of around 400 people will all become Lotte employees upon closing.
BMS isn’t going far, though. Lotte will continue to manufacture products for the pharma giant — $220 million worth over the next three years, according to Yonhap. The deal should close by the second half of this year.
Once that happens, the East Syracuse site will serve as the epicenter for Lotte’s new biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business in the United States. Eventually, the company hopes to expand its CDMO offerings beyond just BMS. According to Yonhap, Lotte plans to invest 2.5 trillion won, or $1.9 billion, in the bio sectors over the next decade.
“The East Syracuse site has been an important part of our company’s history and our manufacturing network for many decades, and we are confident that Lotte will fully leverage the facility, its capabilities and its experienced workforce as it continues to play a vital role for patients around the world,” Karin Shanahan, EVP of global product development and supply at BMS, said in a statement.
The facility, according to BMS, was originally established in 1943 to answer the US government’s call for the large-scale production of penicillin. It’s currently licensed to manufacture four products: Opdivo, Nulojix, Yervoy and Empliciti.
South Korean conglomerates have been moving steadily into the CDMO space. In 2021, SK Biosciences moved forward with a deal with the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM), a Philadelphia-based CDMO. Also in the same year, Samsung Biologics inked an agreement with Boston biotech GreenLight BioSciences to manufacture its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine at a commercial scale.