Amgen restructuring includes buyout packages

By Nancy Needham

Amgen, having announced it will restructure by reducing staff by 2,200 to 2,600 workers and making other cutbacks, is offering some employees a package to voluntarily leave the company.

Those employees have been notified they are eligible for a Voluntary Transition Program, which includes a sum of money and, possibly, other incentives. A combination that includes an employee’s age plus years worked at Amgen as well as other factors was used to determine which employees qualify for the program.

According to Amgen spokesperson Kristen Davis, about 2,300 staff in the U.S. are eligible to accept the package before the voluntary transition opportunity closes in September.

Amgen does not want to explain the program more fully to those outside the company at this time, Davis said.

The layoffs, closings and other restructuring initiatives are expected to be complete by 2008 and save the Newbury Park company about $1 billion.

Approval changes from the FDA affecting how the drugs Epogen and Aranesp are to be labeled will adversely affect Amgen’s revenue, CEO Kevin Sharer said.

Amgen changed projected earnings for 2007 from $4.28 to between $4.13 and $4.23 per share.

Capital spending will be reduced by about $1.9 billion during 2007-08 to improve cash flow.

Some production operations will be closed and other facilities will be scaled down.

Amgen is a biotechnology company established in 1980 and headquartered in Newbury Park.

The company has about 20,000 employees in offices in
California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington and
Washington, D.C., along with operations in more than 30 countries.

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