Sanofi to spare Toulouse in restructuring - minister

PARIS Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:48am EDT

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PARIS Oct 10 (Reuters) - French drug maker Sanofi has dropped plans to exit its research laboratory in the southern town of Toulouse as part of a reorganisation of its French research operations, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Wednesday.

"Sanofi has said the Toulouse centre is not part of its restructuring plan anymore, except for infectious disease research and some support functions," Montebourg told reporters.

Sanofi was not immediately available for comment.

The company last month scaled back planned layoffs under pressure from the French government, which has been struggling to contain a burgeoning unemployment rate.

Sanofi said it planned to shed around 900 jobs in France in the next three years, fewer than the 2,500 predicted in July by trade unions, as part of a reshuffle of its research operations into regional hubs.

Unions refused to accept the scaled-back plan saying that the 900 cuts - to be achieved through voluntary redundancies, internal transfers and early retirements - did not take into account the 640 jobs at the Toulouse centre, which Sanofi planned to exit. {ID:nL6E8L5J76] (Reporting by Sophie Louet; Writing by Elena Berton; Editing by Mark Potter)

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