Potential purchasers have been identified for the troubled Avara Pharma manufacturing plant in Shannon and every effort should be made to ensure that the negotiations result in a majority of the 115 workers retaining their jobs.

That’s according to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey who said that an agreement on redundancy payments should form part of any deal with a prospective buyer. He added that a major Asian pharmaceutical company would be visiting the Shannon plant to progress the negotiations.

The High Court placed the company in provisional liquidation last week after hearing that it was insolvent with debts of €9.5 million. The company, which manufactures active drug ingredients at its plant on the Shannon Free Zone, says it cannot pay the level of redundancy that was agreed by the previous owner UCB.

“Over the past few months I have been in talks with worker representatives and management at Avara. I have also been involved in discussions with the IDA and Employment Minister Heather Humphreys in an effort to secure the long-term future of the Shannon operation,” Deputy Carey explained.

“Now that a potential buyer is in the frame, I am anxious to ensure that both they and the liquidator will give due attention to the 115 workers whose livelihoods are at stake. Although they knew there were issues with the company, they were shocked when it went in to liquidation without any certainty about redundancy payments. 

“While the retention of as many jobs as possible should be the main priority, the workers are anxious that the issue of redundancy should be addressed in any future talks with prospective purchasers,” Deputy Carey concluded.