Several media outlets are reporting that medical device OEM Baxter will cease production at its plant in Opelika, AL, affecting nearly 500 employees.
According to a press release cited by WTVM in Columbus, GA, Baxter leadership said that the closure was not a reflection on the quality of the workforce or the business climate in Opelika, “but was brought on by global market conditions that have impacted demand and overseas competition.”
Operations are scheduled to shut down in November.
The plant, which produces dialyzers for the global market, originally belonged to Gambro Renal Products, part of Sweden’s Gambro AB, which Baxter acquired in 2013. In 2014, Baxter completed a $252 million expansion of the facility that doubled the size of the plant, according to WTVM. The total capital investment in the plant reportedly exceeded $400 million.
As recently as April 2023, Baxter listed several open positions at the Opelika plant via ZipRecruiter, including an injection molding operator slot for the night shift. Compensation was pegged at $41,600 plus benefits.
Baxter announced back in February during a Q4 2022 earnings call that it would shed nearly 5% of its workforce, MD+DI reported. The reduction was part of measures that would save the company more than $300 million in 2023.