German giant Merck KGaA has announced a EUR one billion investment into its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany up until 2025.
The aim of Merck’s proposed investment is to secure the future viability of its headquarters as a central science and technology hub and to further expand it, according to a company statement. The plan includes the possible construction of a new membrane plant as well as a new Vocational and Advanced Training Centre.
Kai Beckmann, CEO Performance Materials and Merck executive board member responsible for the Darmstadt site said, “We believe in the tremendous potential of the Darmstadt site. There is no other Merck site in the world that has so much expertise combined at one location. With our investment commitment, we are permitting additional growth and are creating employment perspectives for tomorrow and beyond.”
Beckmann added, “Our aim is to do the right things today in order to ensure that we remain successful as a company tomorrow. Together with the employee representatives, we want to support the changes in our three business sectors here at the Darmstadt site in the best possible way.”
As well as the investment announcement, Merck have also agreed to extend the employment guarantee for the 11,000 people employed at Darmstadt and nearby Weiterstadt and Gernsheim sites until 2025. Michael Fletterich, the company’s chairman of the Works Council, said, “We conducted intensive negotiations and, in some cases, had strong debates. Ultimately, with the site agreement we achieved a good outcome that benefits employees and sustainably strengthens the future viability of the site.” Although no employee cuts were announced, Merck said that the work agreement includes “a voluntary leave program and a bridge model for an early transition to retirement.”