RIVERSIDE, Pa. (AP) — Merck & Co. Inc. has sold its pharmaceutical plant in Northumberland County to PRWT Services Inc., preserving 400 jobs at the largest employer in the area.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Cherokee Pharmaceuticals LLC, a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based PRWT, took over the plant 50 miles north of Harrisburg on Tuesday. Cherokee will supply drug ingredients to Merck as part of a five-year deal valued at $100 million to $200 million annually.
Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck announced in November 2005 that it would sell or close the Cherokee plant as part of a global restructuring. The plant, which produces bulk ingredients for Merck antibiotics, was operated by Merck for more than 50 years.
PRWT said it intends to boost employment at the plant.
PRWT, one of the nation's largest minority-owned companies, provides outsourcing services to state and local governments across the country.
''The acquisition of the Cherokee plant is consistent with PRWT's vision of growing the company by expanding into new markets, services, and lines of business,'' said Willie F. Johnson, PRWT's chairman and chief executive officer.
Gov. Ed Rendell, Johnson and Merck officials planned a news conference Friday to discuss the sale.