October 31, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Pharmavite Breaks Ground On $76.5 Million Opelika Plant

Pharmavite formally broke ground this morning in Opelika on its $76.5 million, 330,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.

The facility, which was announced Sept. 13, is expected to create 280 jobs.

While Pharmavite may not be a household name, its products are widely known.

"Pharmavite will bring two internationally known brands -- Nature Made vitamins and dietary supplements and their SoyJoy products," said Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Development Office. "The company is very well known nationally and internationally and they're the No. 1 seller of dietary supplements around the world."

The Opelika plant will produce Nature Made soft gels and tablets.

"We are honored to officially join the Opelika and greater Alabama community and we're looking forward to accomplishing many great things together," said Mark Walsh, chief operating officer of Pharmavite. "This new facility represents a significant step in the growth of Pharmavite and will serve as a model manufacturing facility for the entire vitamin and supplement industry."

Gov. Robert Bentley; House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn; U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks; and Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller joined company officials and community and business leaders at the groundbreaking.

"Today's groundbreaking is the beginning of a bright future for Pharmavite in Opelika," Bentley said. "Pharmavite has an excellent reputation worldwide and I am proud to say they will now be one of Alabama's latest corporate citizens."

Canfield said Pharmavite's new plant opens the state up to the multi-billion-dollar vitamin manufacturing industry.

"What's great for Alabama in this is it's a brand new industry entrant into the state," he said. "We're always excited when we have an opportunity to bring in a brand new industry to the state because that opens up other opportunities with suppliers and their supply chain."

Bentley said the global nature of Pharmavite's operations is also significant to the state.

"The jobs and investment Pharmavite is making in Alabama helps us show the rest of the world that Alabama is a great place to live and do business," Bentley said.

The plant is expected to be open in early 2013, and should have a few managerial positions filled this year with the full 280 jobs coming in the first year of operations. The company said it hopes to have most of the hires completed by June 2012.

Those jobs are needed, Canfield said.

"We're just happy to have them in Lee County, which is so close to Chambers County, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state."

Chambers County's unemployment rate in September was 12.3 percent, making it the county with the 17th highest rate in Alabama.

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