Fresenius Medical Care to pour $140M into Tennessee manufacturing expansion

Germany's Fresenius Medical Care ($FMS) is pursuing a major expansion in Tennessee. The company's North American division plans to invest $140 million into building a new manufacturing facility in the Knox County/Innovation Valley region and create 665 jobs over time.

The company, which is known for producing a number of kidney dialysis-related products and services, will make the location the headquarters of its East Coast manufacturing operations, according to a joint announcement from the company and development officials. They'll take over the 277,000-square-foot former Panasonic building at Forks of the River Industrial Park and begin their retrofitting project later in 2014.

Plans call for moving a single production line to the Knoxville facility by September 2014, with actual production there set to begin by early 2016, pending a signoff from the FDA. Jobs at the site will include engineering facilities management, supervisors, technicians and production line workers, according to the announcement.

Troy McGhee, vice president of manufacturing for Fresenius Medical Care, said in a statement that the company is "looking forward to developing and expanding our presence here in the coming years."

Fresenius' move comes as it gears up for some major competition generated by Baxter's ($BAX) $3.9 billion acquisition of rival Gambro. Fresenius has also struggled with dragging profits in the U.S. due to personnel costs and currency problems as well. But Fresenius' Tennessee expansion comes in part with local tax incentives.

Fresenius had faced a patent infringement claim from Baxter over kidney dialysis machines. But Fresenius won a federal appeals court ruling after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled Baxter's patent in the midst of its lawsuit against Fresenius.

- read the announcement

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