Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Firm's office space doubling

Omnicare wants all in 1 N.Ky. building

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Omnicare Inc. plans to almost double the size of its headquarters operations in Northern Kentucky in a move to consolidate administration of its operations in 47 states.

Late last week, the Covington-based pharmaceutical care company won tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority designed to add 300 to 350 jobs in Northern Kentucky, where the company now employs 190.

Omnicare said Monday it has begun a search for an additional 56,000 square feet to house the additional employees.

The company's corporate staff is now split between its headquarters, 100 E. RiverCenter Blvd., Covington, and Lookout Corporate Center, 1717 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright.

Spokeswoman Cheryl Hodges said the company was looking to lease the space for the expansion.

She declined to characterize the type of jobs involved in the corporate consolidation, but she said they would include relocation of existing workers and new hires.

The state tax incentives call for the company to create a minimum of 160 jobs paying between $14.42 an hour and $36.06 an hour, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

The state said the value of the expansion was $6.7 million.

The company said it estimates the value of the tax incentives at between $9 million and $10 million spread over 10 years.

The nation's largest provider of pharmacy services to long-term care centers earlier this year completed its largest acquisition, with the purchase of NCS Healthcare Inc. outside Cleveland, the fourth-largest institutional pharmacy provider.

Hodges said growth triggered by the acquisition was only partly responsible for the additional corporate jobs here.

"Finding a way to increase efficiency and productivity are the major factors behind the consolidation,'' she said.

Last year, the company completed the second phase of a productivity and consolidation initiative, eliminating 460 jobs and closing seven operations. That's on top of eliminating 1,800 jobs and closing 59 sites in the prior year.

Omnicare employs more than 9,000 and serves in long-term care centers comprising about 935,000 beds.

Its clinical research business provides drug development services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies in 29 countries.


E-mail mboyer@enquirer.com

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