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VOL. 117 | NO. 120 | Friday, June 20, 2003

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Baxter growth prompts move to new facility

Baxter growth prompts move to new facility

By ANDREW BELL

The Daily News

A major medical supply companys local distribution hub is approaching a move into a larger warehouse thanks to steady growth in its operations.

Baxter International Inc., a global health care company that deals with bioscience and medication delivery to patients suffering from grave medical conditions including cancer and kidney disease is moving into an existing, empty facility in Capleville, an unincorporated community in Southeast Memphis.

Deborah Spak, director of external communications for Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange said about $9 million in interior alteration work will begin within two weeks.

Well be reconstructing the shell of a building thats there now, Spak said. Well be doing a lot of interior construction and the costs will be spread out.

The new space will give the company room for further growth.

Basically, with some acquisitions in recent years, we outgrew that facility, Spak said of Baxters current warehouse at 4835 S. Mendenhall Road.

Local commercial builders and management group Panattoni Development Co. built the Capleville facility, located at 4750 Pleasant Hill Road, in 1996.

Trammell Crow Co. handles the buildings leasing and management.

Toshiba America Business Solutions moved out of the 100,000-square-foot space in 2001 and into a larger facility in the 275-acre Distriplex Farms at the corner of Holmes and Hickory Hill roads.

Spak couldnt say how much larger the new warehouse will be than the current one.

But, when the new location opens in mid-2004, about 20 new employees will be added to the companys 24 warehouse workers, she said.

Because the Memphis warehouse primarily serves as a storage and distribution site for various intravenous medications, the facilitys design and arrangement must conform to federal Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

A lot of work needs to be done because the FDA is strict, Spak said.

Baxter opened its local distribution operation about 10 years ago. In 1994, a metal building was added to the current warehouse to house a compressor; a year later, a cool room was added.

Baxter, listed as one of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune magazine in 2003, has facilities and about 50,000 employees in 110 countries.

The company was founded in 1931.

In 1956, Baxter engineers introduced the first commercially built artificial kidney.

According to company literature, in 2001, Baxters sales reached nearly $7.7 billion. Its medication delivery sales have accounted for the companys single largest segment of growth including a 64 percent first quarter jump in anesthesia products in 2003 from the same quarter in 2002.

Spak said Baxter has distribution facilities throughout Mississippi, Arkansas and North Carolina.

 

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