California-based contact lens manufacturer CooperVision is preparing to invest almost 36.5 million euros ($39.6 billion) to expand its newly acquired production plant at Gyál close to the Hungarian capital Budapest.
A matter of months after the firm based in Pleasanton, Calif., bought the facility as part of a 1.1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) acquisition of successful British soft lens maker Sauflon Pharmaceutical, CooperVision announced its plan to expand the plant over three years.
Through its Hungarian project, the U.S. buyer expects to increase the local workforce by recruiting around 400 new employees, according to Hungary's Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó at a news conference announcing the latest investment.
Last year, the Gyál facility, Sauflon's only plant outside the United Kingdom, turned out a total of 625 million lenses. Output is set to double within three years through the proposed investment.
Almost all of the CooperVision facility's production is destined for exports although the small output going to the domestic market leaves the company Hungarian market leader.
CooperVision, part of U.S. medical products group The Cooper Companies Inc. of Pleasanton, took over Sauflon, a privately owned company launched in 1985 by former lens salesman Alan Wells, in August 2014. The U.K. firm had other plants in Ashford, Kent and London in Britain.
“We believe this acquisition positions us at the forefront of the single-use market, the fastest growing segment of the soft contact lens industry,” commented Cooper's president and CEO Robert S. Weiss in September last year.
CooperVision is the world's third ranked contact lens manufacturer.