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March 4, 2024

Following acquisition, Baxter to close Acton manufacturing operation, lay off 59 workers

A two-story suburban office building Image | Courtesy of Google Maps Baxter International's Acton facility

Baxter International, a Illinois-based medical supply company, plans to lay off 59 workers in Acton and close its manufacturing operations there, two years after it acquired the business that formerly operated the center.

The company, which provides digital health solutions and therapies to hospitals, kidney dialysis centers, and other healthcare facilities, expects the layoffs to occur between May 3 and June 30, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act notice filed to the MassHire Department of Career Services. 

“After a careful review, we made the difficult decision to close manufacturing operations at our Acton location. We are moving these operations to another facility within Baxter's integrated supply chain network,” Lauren Russ, vice president, corporate marketing for the company, said in an email to WBJ. “We appreciate our Acton-based colleagues’ dedication and service and are providing transition benefits to impacted employees.”

Baxter purchased Hillrom, the Illinois-based previous operator of the Acton facility, for $10.5 billion in February 2022. At the time, Baxter said the move would help reach a broader global market.

"The Baxter-Hillrom combination unlocks the next phase of our transformation, presenting a new wave of potential to drive greater impact for patients, clinicians, employees, shareholders and other communities we serve worldwide," José Almeida, Baxter's chairman, president, and CEO, said of the purchase in a February 2022 release announcing the transaction. 

One year after the purchase of Hillrom, Baxter began a new cost-reduction strategy, which it said would result in $300 million in total savings and the reduction of less than 5% of its global workforce. 

“While the opportunities ahead are clear, the journey will involve some difficult decisions. We will take these necessary steps with the utmost care and sensitivity, in full knowledge that the passion and commitment of our Baxter team drives our success,” Almeida said in a February 2023 press release announcing a strategic review that aimed to increase stockholder value. 

The company operates more than 60 facilities around the world, with 41,000 employees in the United States and 19,000 employees outside the country, according to the company’s 2023 annual report submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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