Abbott (NYSE:ABT) will spend €440 million ($450 million) to expand its operations in Ireland, the country’s government announced today.
The investment involves the creation of a new 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Kilkenny and a further investment in the company’s Donegal Diabetes Care site. The investment will add 1,000 new jobs between the sites.
The new plant in Kilkenny will still need to clear planning permission. It will give Abbott the capacity to substantially increase the production of its FreeStyle Libre CGM technology for people with diabetes.
“Abbott has a long and successful history, first establishing operations in Ireland in 1946, and this new investment is a great vote of confidence in the workforce here and in this country as a place to invest,” Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin said in a news release.
The FreeStyle Libre has turned into a blockbuster line for Abbott. CEO Robert Ford noted during the company’s July 22 earnings call that the FreeStyle Libre’s user base has exceeded 4 million users worldwide, with sales up 25% on an organic basis in the company’s second quarter. In May, the FDA cleared the next-gen FreeStyle Libre 3 14-day CGM — designed as the smallest and thinnest CGM sensor in the world.
Abbott already has a major presence in Ireland, employing 5,000 people there already.
Other medical device companies have been expanding in Ireland, too. Boston Scientific, for example, unveiled plans in April for a €100 million ($118 million) expansion of its operations outside Galway. Meanwhile, Stryker earlier this month unveiled a new, high-tech 3D printing facility in the Anngrove neighborhood of County Cork.
Medtronic, the largest medical device company in the world, has its official headquarters in Ireland, though it’s run operationally out of Minnesota.