By CJ Baker
Via Wyoming News Exchange
POWELL — Cody Laboratories is expected to sell to a new owner by July.
The Cody pharmaceutical manufacturer’s parent company, Lannett Company, announced last fall that it was selling off the business, which creates active pharmaceutical ingredients for generic medications.
Lannett CEO Tim Crew said this month that the company expects to finalize “the transition of Cody Labs … before the end of the current fiscal year,” which concludes on June 30.
On a Feb. 6 conference call with investors, Crew offered no details about who might buy the company.
Lannett officials pegged the value of Cody Labs’ inventory, equipment and other assets at roughly $36.5 million last summer; that includes the company’s facilities on Cody’s Yellowstone Avenue and Road 2AB.
The sale is part of cost-cutting measures and a shift in direction at Lannett. The generic drug maker had planned a more than $50 million expansion of its operations in Cody to put more of a focus on making painkilling opioids. With the project expected to add more than 50 jobs in an industry uncommon to the state, the State of Wyoming had agreed to provide a $23 million loan for the project.
However, after Crew took over Lannett in late 2017, the company began focusing on paying down its debt and shorter-term projects. It halted construction at Cody Labs’ manufacturing facility on Road 2AB and announced last June that, instead of adding new jobs, it would be laying off about 50 of its roughly 130 workers in Cody.
Combined with the shuttering of Lannett facilities in Philadelphia and other layoffs and cost-cutting measures across the company, Crew said Lannett expects to save around $33 million.
“These changes are never easy, but important to support our future growth plans,” he said. “We again sincerely thank our former colleagues for their meaningful contributions to Lannett.”
Lannett saw its stock plummet to as low as $3.33 a share last fall after losing a key contract, but it’s since rebounded and traded as high as $9.68 a share on Thursday.
In Wednesday’s conference call, Crew announced record net sales from the last quarter. He said Lannett cut costs and added revenues — predicting that 17 newly launched products will bring in at least $75 million this fiscal year with a gross margin of at least 35 percent.
“To paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of our company’s travails has been greatly exaggerated,” Crew said. “More to the point, we are feeling quite good about the current state of our business, the progress we’ve made over the last several quarters and our future prospects.”