Thursday, February 22, 2018
Business

Major drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb picks Hillsborough for nearly 600 jobs

Major pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to open a 70,000-square-foot facility in Hillsborough County and fill it with nearly 600 employees averaging $65,000 in annual wages.

The company announced late Thursday that it expects to move into its "North America Capability Center" in January at a to-be-determined location.

Area economic leaders, already riding a recent wave of business successes — including new international flights from Tampa International Airport — cheered the arrival of Bristol-Myers Squibb as a particular coup. The drug company is a global brand, No. 158 on the Fortune 500 of major corporations. But it is also expected to play a significant role in Tampa Bay's fast-emerging health care and personalized medicine industry now anchored by USF Health, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, M2Gen and others.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's site selection team met with those cutting edge medical organizations, which helped persuade the company to expand here, said Rick Homans, CEO of the Tampa/Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.

"Everyone at the EDC is on cloud nine," Homans said. "This is why I came here — for this kind of project."

Bristol-Myers Squibb, based in Princeton, N.J., and New York City, said its center will be staffed at first by about 250 workers in information technology, marketing and business services, and other functions supporting the company's bio-pharmaceutical business in the United States.

Most of those positions will be filled by people living in the Tampa Bay area.

By 2017, the company also plans to locate more than 325 additional jobs supporting scientific and technical activities at the site, the firm stated.

With nearly $18 billion in annual revenues and 28,000 employees, Bristol-Myers Squibb chose Hillsborough and the Tampa Bay market after considering potential locations in the central and eastern time zones. North Carolina was among the most serious competitors.

Hillsborough County commissioners approved more than $2 million to help recruit the pharmaceutical company. Those funds will complement a state incentive package. If the company creates all of the promised jobs, it could get about $6 million in total incentives paid out over several years.

Gareth Morgan, a Bristol-Myers Squibb senior vice president, said his company evaluated many locations before deciding that Florida was the "best state for our new facility." The company chose Hillsborough County, he said, for its "talented work force, strong university presence, the Tampa Bay region's business climate, economy and quality of life, and availability of the necessary logistics and office facilities."

Gov. Rick Scott called the company's decision to expand to Tampa "great news" for Florida and proof that "companies are taking notice of our economic turnaround."

"This announcement signals that Florida has the resources necessary to support the operations of the biggest companies in the world," added Gray Swoope, Florida commerce secretary and CEO of Enterprise Florida, the state's business recruiting arm.

Ken Hagan, chairman of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners, praised the project as a testament to the region's growing life sciences industry.

He also credited the collaboration between the company, the county and Enterprise Florida, the Tampa Hillsborough EDC and the Tampa Bay Partnership — the region's economic marketer that first got the tip that Bristol-Myers Squibb was looking to expand.

County documents show the company expects to generate up to $21.2 million in capital investment at its new location. At full staff, it will have a payroll topping $37 million, with wages averaging 157 percent of Florida's private sector average wage.

So now that Hillsborough has landed the drug company, what exactly is the "North American Capability Center" going to be?

The company says the center, the first in the country, will encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial culture.

"In short, the North America Capability Center will help us improve the overall quality and efficiency of our internal services and enable us to reinvest in our core business," said spokesman Frederick J. Egengolf.

"The Tampa market, with its pool of highly skilled workers and competitive costs, is an ideal location for the center. The investments we make now, particularly by increasing our commercial investment in diabetes and research and development investment in our exciting immuno-oncology portfolio, will help sustain our position as a BioPharma leader," he said.

Some of Bristol-Myers Squibb's bestselling medicines are Yervoy (metastatic melanoma), Orencia (rheumatoid arthritis), Sprycel (chronic myeloid leukemia), Baraclude (hepatitis B) and Onglyza and Bydureon for type 2 diabetes.

Combined, its Abilify (depression and bi-polar disorder) and Plavix (blood thinner to prevent heart attacks) drugs generated more than $5 billion in sales last year.

At the EDC Thursday evening, Homans rattled off a long list of area medical innovators, including Draper Lab and Johns Hopkins-affiliated All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, that may benefit from the arrival of Bristol Myers-Squibb.

Said Homans: "They have come to be part of this community."

Robert Trigaux can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Hillsborough commissioners ask CareerSource chief to step down or be fired

Hillsborough commissioners ask CareerSource chief to step down or be fired

TAMPA –– Hillsborough County commissioners voted Wednesday to ask embattled jobs center leader Ed Peachey to either resign or face termination over concerns the agency inflated job placement numbers with the state. Chairwoman Sandy Murman said commis...
Updated: 6 hours ago
CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CLEARWATER — The heads of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards will hold emergency meetings in the coming days to consider firing president and CEO Edward Peachey. Jack Geller, board chairman of CareerSource Pinellas, and Dick Peck, chairman of ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
St. Pete's World Liquors sign will live on at new home

St. Pete's World Liquors sign will live on at new home

A local landmark for a half century isn't coming down for good.
Updated: 10 hours ago
Investor calls for Bloomin’ Brands to let Outback Steakhouse stand alone

Investor calls for Bloomin’ Brands to let Outback Steakhouse stand alone

TAMPA — A second activist investor is calling for a big shake-up at Bloomin’ Brands Inc. In a letter to Bloomin’s CEO, Barington Capital Group, a New York-based investment firm, urged the Tampa-based restaurant conglomerate to let ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Uber unrolls new pool service that could drastically cut fare

A new way to Uber is coming to Florida, but the "Express Pool" feature is only rolling out in Miami and seven of other cities to start.That means Tampa Bay will have to wait and see if it will get access to Uber’s latest offering, which links riders ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Clearwater Beach named No. 1 in U.S. by TripAdvisor

Clearwater Beach named No. 1 in U.S. by TripAdvisor

A reigning champion for sand and sunshine, Tampa Bay is once again home to what’s been deemed the best beach in the country. Clearwater Beach was named the best beach in the U.S. for 2018 by the popular travel site TripAdvisor reclaiming the crown tw...
Published: 02/21/18
This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

FIELD OF GREEN: COLLARD FESTOn Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point. Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’s Historic Deuc...
Published: 02/21/18
Tampa Bay homes prices soar by double-digits in January

Tampa Bay homes prices soar by double-digits in January

Home prices soared in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in January, the highest gains in several months. Prices for single family homes also rose in Hernando and Pasco as the shortage of available homes showed no immediate sign of easing. The bay a...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of ...
Published: 02/20/18
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Published: 02/20/18