Terre Haute Closing on Pfizer Sale, New Investment and Jobs

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Saturn Petcare made its Vigo County plans official last month. (photo courtesy of the IEDC) Saturn Petcare made its Vigo County plans official last month. (photo courtesy of the IEDC)

As Terre Haute officials close on the sale of a portion of a once high-profile property, they are also celebrating the latest in a string of economic developments wins. Germany-based Saturn Petcare Inc. will Wednesday close on its purchase of part of the former Pfizer Inc. (PFE) property as it moves forward with plans to establish its first U.S. operations in Vigo County. Last month, the pet food manufacturer made its plans official to invest more than $38 million to renovate a 350,000-square-foot facility in the Vigo County Industrial Park II and create up to 200 jobs.

Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Steve Witt says Saturn Petcare is one of four recent economic development deals, with “more in the queue.” 

The facility will initially house production of wet pet food for cats and dogs with production slated to begin in June 2020.

The company had previously planned to locate in the former Kellogg's building in Seelyville, though plans changed after both companies failed to come to a purchase agreement. 

“We’ve been talking with Saturn Petcare for three or four years now,” said Witt.  “They’re going to be a great tenant and great member of our community and we’re very excited.”

Pfizer had been one of Terre Haute’s largest and most important employers since the 1940’s.  In 2008, the company stunned west central Indiana when it announced it was halting production of the once-promising inhaled diabetes drug Exubera due to lower-than-expected sales. 

The move eventually eliminated more than 700 high-paying jobs and with them one of the city’s iconic corporate names.

Hopes were raised in 2012, when California-based NantWorks said it would invest $120 million to locate a pharmaceutical manufacturing on the former Pfizer property, creating more than 230 jobs.

However, plans for Nantworks Terre Haute ultimately fizzled with the new owners blaming changing market demands.

Witt says Saturn Petcare is one of four recent economic development deals, with “more in the queue.”
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