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The 400 million Sandoz investment in Lendava is expected to bring more than 300 jobs



Prime Minister Robert Golob said that it is the largest private investment in the history of Slovenia

The government signed an agreement with Lek on investment in a new high-tech center for the production of biological medicines. The investment in Lendava is worth just under 400 million euros and should provide around 300 jobs. A good 50 million will be contributed by the state.

The pharmaceutical group Sandoz, which includes Lek, has signed a letter of intent with the government for a 379 million euro investment in Lendava. It is expected to bring more than 300 new jobs, including highly qualified professionals. The new production plant, which is expected to be built in two years, will produce biological medicines.

President of the management board of Sandoz Richard Saynor called the signing of the memorandum of intent for the construction of a production plant of biological medicines in Lendava an important day for both Sandoz and Slovenia. He emphasized that it will be one of the largest investments in the private sector in the history of Slovenia. The expected investment for its construction and start-up is 379 million euros ($400 million), he explained.

According to Saynor, it is no coincidence that they decided to make this move. “As a company, we have a very long history in Slovenia and we see a very bright future here,” he emphasized. He is convinced that Slovenia has everything it needs to succeed in the development and production of biopharmaceutical products – an appropriate scientific environment and stable political support that encourages innovation and investment.

Golob: The largest private investment in the history of Slovenia

Prime Minister Robert Dove however, he said that Sandoz’s 400 million investment is in fact the largest such direct, one-time investment in the history of Slovenia. “A new investment, not a purchase of an existing company, not an expansion of existing capacities. This is an additional signal that, in the world’s most demanding industry, we are recognized as an environment where we combine excellence at the level of research potential and educational institutions, attractiveness in the field of infrastructure and living environment, and at the same time political stability, which is the key to such large sums in the first place. invest in any country,” Prime Minister Golob said after signing the contract.

At the same time, he emphasized that it is an investment in the least developed region of Slovenia. “The Slovenian government and the business environment have not forgotten Prekmurje. We are ready to contribute to the fact that Prekmurje will eventually begin to reduce its development lag behind the rest of Slovenia through direct state aid to the investor. This message is important,” said Golob.

Lek already has a plant in Lendava, which employs 710 people and in which the production of anti-infectives and the packaging of final pharmaceutical forms takes place.

The state is expected to contribute between 50 and 55 million euros

In response to a journalist’s question, Prime Minister Golob explained that the signed memorandum foresees co-financing or direct state aid in the amount of between 50 and 55 million euros for the entire investment. “I believe that we will invest these 50 and a few million very usefully in the economic development of Slovenia,” he said.

When asked whether the story of Lek in Prevalje could be repeated, where a new plant was built next to the Lek plant there, and then the production moved to Austria, Golob replied that there are situations in the business world in which the investment at some point does not several market conditions are sufficient. Golob added that the state must make sure that all its investments are repaid. “Even in the case of Prevalje, they were reimbursed, and in the case of Magna, I believe they will be reimbursed. Our task is to protect the location and the state’s investment, if the investor decides to withdraw for any reason,” replied the Pigeon.

Saynor, however, said that they thought long and hard about the investment before making the decision. He emphasized that it is Sandoz’s first major investment since the spin-off with Novartis, with which it aims to meet the rapidly growing global demand for biological medicines. According to his estimates, the production plant in Lendava could start operating within four or five years.

We can only wish for such strategic investors in the country. Because they know the environment they are entering and do not enter it on the basis of one-off ratings, but on the basis of a long-term decision and calculation,” emphasized Golob. In his opinion, this investment is safe precisely because it is very important for Sandoz – with it, after moving away

Photo: BoBo/Borut Živulović

from Novartis, it stands on its own two feet. “Sandoz is at a turning point, not Slovenia,” said Golob.

Novartis also announced the establishment of a biotechnology park in Mengš

Meanwhile, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, the owner of Sandoz, also announced in January that it intends to establish the Life Science Park Mengeš biotechnology park in Mengeš with the Chinese company Porton, which supplies it with active pharmaceutical ingredients. Novartis will lease part of the vacant premises to Porton, and 300 new jobs will be created.

Novartis plans to spin off Sandoz as its generic division, and as part of this, it is expected to transfer Lek’s production of solid products in Ljubljana and the production of active ingredients and biological drugs in Mengš to the Slovenian company Novartis. The completion of the process is expected in the second half of the year.

Source: Rtvslo

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