AstraZeneca Sells Alderley Park Site in UK

AstraZeneca has agreed to sell its Alderley Park site in Cheshire, United Kingdom (UK) to Manchester Science Parks, a Greater Manchester-based public-private partnership and science park operator.

The sale is part of AstraZeneca's plan, set out in March 2013, to establish a new global R&D center and corporate headquarters in Cambridge, UK, in 2016. The new owners plan to build on Alderley Park's heritage of scientific innovation, ensuring that the 400-acre site remains a life science and biotechnology campus. The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

AstraZeneca will take pretax impairment charges of $275 million to non-core R&D expense in the first quarter of 2014. This forms part of the costs associated with the footprint changes announced in March 2013.

AstraZeneca expects to complete the sale by end of March 2014 and will remain a key tenant on the site. The handover of the site will be phased over a three-year period, with the full exit of AstraZeneca R&D staff to take place in line with the completion of the company's new facility in Cambridge.

Alderley Park will remain a major location for AstraZeneca in the UK, with around 700 staff on the site in non-R&D roles following the transition to Cambridge. Overall, AstraZeneca will continue to have a presence in the Northwest England with approximately 3000 employees across Alderley Park, the Macclesfield manufacturing site, and the MedImmune vaccine manufacturing facility in Speke. The company also scientific collaborations with academic institutions such as Manchester University.  

Source: AstraZeneca

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