JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries needs to take “deep, meaningful steps around the world” to secure its future, it said in a letter to the Israeli parliament on Monday, after media reports the company is set to cut thousands of jobs.
Parliament’s State Control Committee had called an emergency meeting to discuss reports that Teva is planning to cut up to a quarter of its 6,860-strong workforce in Israel, and a few thousand more staff in the United States.
No one from Teva management attended the panel, and its senior vice president for Israel operations, David Lustig, sent a letter to the committee chairwoman saying no concrete plans had been finalised and the discussion in parliament was “premature.”
Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, is saddled with nearly $35 billion in debt since its $40.5-billion acquisition of Allergan’s generic drug business Actavis last year. That deal has not paid off and investors have been pushing for clarity regarding the future.
“Teva is committed to taking immediate and comprehensive actions to steady its financial situation,” Lustig wrote in the letter, which was seen by Reuters.
“Teva’s current business position obligates us to act responsibly and take deep, meaningful steps around the world and in Israel to secure the company’s future,” it said.
The letter did not provide details of specific moves it was considering.
Teva has already been selling off assets to help meet its debt payments.
Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Tova Cohen; Editing by Mark Potter