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Manufacturer expands Pinellas operations

A Michigan-based manufacturer that has had operations in Pinellas County for 13 years is adding a third manufacturing facility that will employ between 50 and 100 workers.

R.P. Scherer, which manufactures soft gelatin capsules, will lease a 63,000-square-foot facility to be built in St. Mary business park on N 47th Street in Pinellas Park.

The new facility will be built and owned by Barger & Associates, which owns a smaller, 25,000-square-foot facility Scherer leases in the same business park.

The new facility is expected to be ready this summer for initial occupation by Scherer. Workers will be hired as the plant is completed, according to Herbert Hugill, president of R.P. Scherer's North American Division.

Based in Troy, Mich., Scherer operates 18 facilities in 11 countries and employs about 2,500 people.

The North American division encompasses two manufacturing facilities in Pinellas County and one in Canada. The company employs 450 workers in Pinellas, Hugill said.

The new plant will be a state-of-the art facility to manufacture vitamin and nutritional supplement "softgels" that will be distributed throughout the United States, according to Hugill.

Scherer, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, claims to be the world's largest producer of soft gelatin capsules. It went public for the second time in 1992, three years after going private in a leveraged buyout.

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