Biomet is letting go of a Swiss manufacturing facility that employs 230 workers, blaming the closure on "declining global prices for medical devices and a challenging economic environment."
The Le Locle, Switzerland location will close doors within the year, and operations will shuffle to other facilities around the globe. No closure-related layoffs will occur prior to June 2014, according to a company statement.
Biomet said workers will be relocated wherever possible, saying the shut-down is necessary to improve "the cost-efficiency of its global manufacturing operations in the changing medical device market."
The privately held medical device maker has had some rough quarters, but recently posted black ink for Q4 and narrowed losses for fiscal 2013.
The privately held medical device company, which is said to be considering an IPO or sale, is closely watched as a bellwether for the orthopedic market, which has been bedeviled in recent years by falling procedure volumes for hip and knee replacements.
In the U.S., Biomet is further mired in legal hot water for its Biomet M2a Hip Replacement System, which more than 500 plaintiffs claim sheds dangerous debris because of the metal-on-metal design, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reported.
Biomet has not issued a recall for its M2a systems, but has been sucked in by the high-profile lawsuits over Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics’ recalled ASR metal-on-metal hip implants.