February 28, 2019

GE sale leaves questions for Marlborough, Westborough offices

Photo/Matt Wright
GE Healthcare Life Sciences employs hundreds of workers at its Marlborough facility, along with another in Westborough.

General Electric's $21-billion sale of its biopharmaceutical division this week could mean changes for GE Healthcare Life Sciences employees in Marlborough and Westborough.

GE employs roughly 680 people at laboratories and offices in the two MetroWest communities, according to the Worcester Business Journal's 2017 list of the area's largest companies.

GE representatives said Thursday they aren't yet making any decisions regarding the company's sites. GE's BioPharma unit is part of the company's Life Sciences division.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences moved its division headquarters to Marlborough in 2016, taking up part of a former Digital Equipment Corp. office it now shares with Quest Diagnostics and regional offices of Whole Foods Market. The 210,000-square-foot facility was a $27-million investment for the company, the WBJ reported at the time.

Company officials said then the move from New Jersey was done in part to better leverage GE's 2012 acquisition of Xcellerex, a Marlborough company specializing in single-use bioreactors.

GE announced a $7-million expansion of its Westborough life sciences facility that same year.

GE Healthcare, excluding BioPharma, generated approximately $17 billion of revenue in 2018, according to GE.

The sale, which the Boston company announced Monday, puts the division in the hands of Washington, D.C. science and technology company Danaher Corp. The sale, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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