Bausch + Lomb to invest €75m in Waterford

By Business & Finance
29 April 2015
Bausch and Lomb
Pictured at Bausch + Lomb (l-r): Angelo Conti, vice president, Manufacturing, Bausch + Lomb; Minister Paudie Coffey; Minister Richard Bruton TD; Denis Asharin, Valeant; and Damain Finn, general manager, Bausch + Lomb. Photo: John Power.

The leading global eye health company plans to invest €75m in an extra manufacturing capacity at its Waterford facility, with 150 construction jobs also to be created as part of investment supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

The investment is expected to generate 125 additional jobs by the end of 2017 and will provide the Waterford facility with capacity to meet expected demand for its Biotrue ONEday range of contact lenses.

Bausch + Lomb, a Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, company, plans to add 112,000 sq. ft. of new building on a 17-acre site adjacent to its current facility. Planning permission has been granted for the development. Construction is due to be completed by the end of 2016 and will create 150 construction jobs.

The investment will further strengthen the Waterford plant’s position in supporting Bausch + Lomb’s efforts in increasing market share in the contact lens market and follows a similar announcement in November 2014 that €41m was being invested, creating 50 new jobs. Work on this phase of investment is underway at present. The company currently employs 1,000 people at its Waterford facility.

Minister Richard Bruton TD, who has met senior Valeant executives on multiple occasions over the past year, both in Ireland and the USA, said: “I, together with my Department and IDA Ireland have been working hard on different aspects of this project for well over a year now. As we said throughout the process, our priority at all times was to secure the future of the plant and position it for future expansion. The people of the southeast and, in particular, the staff at Bausch + Lomb have been through a massively difficult time. Today’s announcement that, with the support of my Department and IDA, the company is investing heavily in an expansion and creating 125 jobs is a huge boost. I look forward to continuing to work with Mike, Angelo and all the Valeant team as they roll out this major investment and job-creation in Waterford.”

Michael Pearson, chairman and CEO of Valeant, said today’s announcement is confirmation of the company’s commitment to continue to invest in the Waterford plant.

“Bausch + Lomb’s Waterford site will continue to play a very important role in our strategy to rebuild Bausch + Lomb as one of the leading contact lens producers. The Waterford facility is a first-class site for contact lens manufacturing and distribution, and with the planned new contact lens manufacturing lines, the added capacity will support both current and future demand.

Damain Finn, general manager, Bausch + Lomb, Waterford, welcomed the further investment: “The commitment to Bausch + Lomb’s operations here is welcome and will enable us to take advantage of the opportunities that are emerging in the contact lens and eye health sector in the coming years. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of Bausch + Lomb Waterford and during that time, the facility has provided good employment for several generations of Waterford people as well as for people from the surrounding counties of the southeast region, and will continue to do so. I am looking forward to the coming years as a time of great opportunity and further significant growth.”