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Barr Labs plans expansion in Forest

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By Tom Wilmoth

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Barr Labs announces expansion

Forest's Barr Laboratories, Inc., a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., plans to invest $62 million to add production and packaging capacity at its facility in Bedford County to augment its current line of products.

In addition, Barr plans to add equipment to incorporate a new timed-released technology for solid dosage pharmaceuticals. This new technology will allow the company to enhance its current product line as well as add new products to the marketplace. The project is expected to create 220 new jobs.

?Barr Laboratories is Bedford County's largest and strongest company, and has grown steadily since its location to the Commonwealth in 1996,? said Governor Timothy Kaine in making the announcement last week. ?The company has thrived in the region; to date Barr has invested more than $115 million in its Virginia facility and has more than 500 employees. Barr Laboratories is a great corporate partner and I look forward to its continued success.?

Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: BRL) is a global specialty pharmaceutical company that operates in more than 30 countries worldwide and is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. A holding company, Barr operates through its principal subsidiaries: Barr Laboratories, Inc., Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and PLIVA d.d. and its subsidiaries. The Barr Group of companies markets more than 115 generic and 25 proprietary products in the U.S. and more than 1,200 products globally outside of the U.S.

Barr has nine offices/facilities in the U.S. and several facilities in Europe. Annual sales currently exceed $2 billion.

?Since our purchase of the 50-acre site in 1996, we have continued to significantly expand our facilities and the number of jobs we provide in Forest, Virginia,? said Bruce L. Downey, Barr?s chairman and chief executive. ?We currently employ more than 500 people in our Forest facility, manufacture products for our global operations and distribute our products throughout the U.S. With the exceptional assistance and cooperation of the Governor?s office and officials of Bedford County, as well as the high quality of our workforce, we plan to add production and packaging capacity that will allow us to continue to effectively compete in the global pharmaceutical marketplace.?

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Bedford County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved $400,000 from the Governor?s Opportunity Fund to assist Bedford County with the project. The Governor also approved a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies.

The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $500,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

?We are delighted that Barr has chosen Bedford County as the site for this significant expansion,? said Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Arrington. ?Barr is one of our most highly valued businesses, and their decision reinforces our claim that Bedford County offers the right business climate together with a superior quality of life. Expanding here can only mean good things for Barr and for Bedford County.?

State lawmakers agreed.

?The Barr Labs expansion is exactly the type of initiative that those of us on the Tobacco Commission want to encourage, and is a very smart investment for the Commonwealth,? said Virginia Del. Kathy Byron, 22nd District. ?Barr has proven to be a strong, vibrant partner for our region, and one of an increasing number of success stories for Southside.?