Elanco joins FD community

Another major player in animal medicine industry has arrived

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Elanco U.S. Inc. has purchased the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. plant at 800 Fifth St. N.W.

Another major player in the animal medicine industry arrived in Fort Dodge in January.

Elanco U.S. Inc. purchased the manufacturing and research complex at 800 Fifth St. N.W. and the product lines made there from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. for $885 million.

The new owner, which is a part of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co., took over the site on Jan. 27.

“As a result of the acquisition, Elanco will bring greater value to customers by providing a suite of options for preventing common diseases in companion animals,” John C. Lechleiter, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Co., said in a statement announcing the purchase.

“Coupled with our robust food animal portfolio, this addition further strengthens Elanco’s position in the global animal health business,” he added.

Elanco U.S. Inc., based in Greenfield, Indiana, plans to retain all of the plant’s roughly 500 workers.

The purchase was welcomed by local officials.

“We’re excited to work with our new partner in Elanco,” Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich said.

Bemrich said the community developed a good relationship with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

“We’re sad to see them go, but we’re excited to start a new page in the book with Elanco,” he said.

Webster County Supervisor Merrill Leffler described the deal as “a sign of good things happening around the county and good things to come.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. executives announced in April 2016 that the plant would be sold to meet regulatory requirements imposed on a deal between it and another company.

The company, based in Germany, announced in December 2015 that it was planning a major transaction with Sanofi, based in France.

Under the terms of that deal, Sanofi is giving Boehringer Ingelheim its animal health business, called Merial. In return, Boehringer Ingelheim is giving Sanofi its consumer health care businesses, except those in China, and cash.

Merial once had a presence in Fort Dodge. The company had a plant at 2116 Eighth Ave. S. from 1989 to 2000.

In an effort to prevent Boehringer Ingelheim from becoming an unfair monopoly after it acquires Merial, the Federal Trade Commission required it to sell some of its pet vaccine capacity in order to win approval for the deal. To comply with that requirement, company leaders decided to sell the local plant.

The company’s departure from the community mirrors its arrival. It bought the plant in 2009 after the Federal Trade Commission orderd Pfizer Inc. to divest some of its assets after it bought Wyeth, the parent company of Fort Dodge Animal Health.

The purchase of the plant by Elanco U.S. Inc. was announced on Oct. 5, 2016.

The deal was closed on Jan. 27, at the end of a 30-day comment period imposed by the Federal Trade Commission.

“We’re excited to further increase our commercial, R and D, manufacturing and other capabilities in vaccines through the addition of knowledgeable and experienced personnel at the Fort Dodge site,” said Keri McGrath Happe, a spokeswoman for Elanco U.S. Inc. “This site is unique for Elanco in that it is a fully integrated R and D and manufacturing facility, including clinical trial facilities.”