Sensodyne maker Haleon to shut Maidenhead factory with loss of 435 jobs

Sensodyne toothpaste on a shelf. Credit: PA

More than 400 jobs are to be axed at Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers firm Haleon as it plans to shut its only manufacturing site in the UK.

The consumer healthcare group, which was spun out of drugs giant GSK in 2022, is shutting its factory in Maidenhead, Berkshire, which will affect the 435 staff at the site.

It is aiming to close the operation on a phased basis over the next two years but stressed that the plans are being consulted on.

The factory makes some of the FTSE 100 listed firm’s toothpaste and mouthwash brands, such as Sensodyne and Parodontax.

Haleon's building in Berkshire. Credit: ITV Meridian

Haleon, which employs nearly 2,000 staff in the UK, will transfer some of the production to its site in Slovakia.

A spokesman for Haleon said: “Following a strategic review of our global manufacturing capabilities, we have determined that our Maidenhead site is no longer a viable option for the manufacture of our products.

“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to begin a phased closure of the site over a two-year period, subject to consultation.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and our priority is to ensure that the people impacted are supported through this process.”

Following the closure, it will have a corporate office in Weybridge, Surrey, and a corporate office in London, while it is also investing £130 million in a new research and development site in Weybridge. It has 25 factories worldwide.

Panadol is one of the brands owned by Haleon. Credit: PA

The firm was formed in 2019 by the merger of the consumer healthcare businesses of British pharmaceutical group GSK and US rival Pfizer, sitting as a joint venture within GSK.

It was then spun out of GSK as a standalone business listed on the London Stock Exchange in July 2022.

GSK and Pfizer have since sold down their stakes in the company, with the pair owning 4.2% and about 24% respectively.

Haleon has been pressing ahead with plans to cut its debts, rein in costs and sell off brands to simplify the business.

It agreed a deal in January to offload its ChapStick lip balm brand to private equity owned Suave Brands Company in a deal worth around 510 million US dollars (£400 million), while it has also sold off athlete’s foot treatment Lamisil last year.

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