UPDATE 1-Cardinal Health to sell plants in Texas, Illinois

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:20pm EST

* Expects to cut 180 positions

* To take charges of about $79 million

* To shift Illinois surgical kit manufacturing to Mexico, South Carolina

By Vidya L Nathan

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Drug wholesaler Cardinal Health Inc said it would sell its procedure kits manufacturing facility in Waukegan, Illinois and its sterilization processes operations in El Paso, Texas as part of a restructuring of its medical business.

Cardinal Health will move surgical kit production work from Illinois to plants in Juarez, Mexico and Fort Mill, South Carolina. The restructuring will also include a reorganization of the company's sales operation and marketing teams.

The company said it would cut 180 positions as part of the restructuring and take a related charge of about $79 million. The company declined to comment on any impact the restructuring might have on 2013.

The company is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on Feb.5.

"As we analyzed that (Medical Segment) business, we felt that it would be best to shift the (sterilization) services to a third party who would retain our team and its assets, and provide us with contract sterilization services," Cardinal Health spokeswoman Debbie Mitchell told Reuters.

Sales at its medical business, which includes products such as surgical gowns, vials, plastic gloves and instruments, grew 1 percent to $2.4 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Cardinal blamed the slow growth on a slowdown in medical procedures.

Shares of the company, which have gained 11 percent in the last three months, closed at $44.68 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.