Israel drug giant Teva announces 14,000 job cuts over two years

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva announced Thursday it plans 14,000 job cuts over two years as it unveiled a wide-reaching restructuring plan after facing low prices for generic drugs.

Teva also said it was suspending dividends on ordinary shares and its annual bonus for 2017 will not be paid "due to the fact that the company's financial results are significantly below our original guidance for the year," it said.

The job cuts will amount to more than 25 percent of the global workforce for Teva, the world's biggest maker of generic drugs, it said in a statement.

Teva has been saddled with debt after its $40 billion acquisition of the generics arm of rival Allergan was completed last year.

The acquisition has been accompanied by low prices for generics.

Teva expects to save $3 billion by the end of 2019 with the two-year restructuring plan.

There has been deep concern over job cuts in Israel, where the company employs some 7,000 people.

On Wednesday, Israel's powerful Histadrut trade union confederation called a nationwide strike for Sunday following reports that Teva would axe thousands of jobs.

Teva factory workers on Thursday walked off the job and protested, including by blocking roads.