Internal restructuring
Location of affected unit(s)
Lyon, Paris
Manufacture Of Chemicals And Pharamceuticals
Manufacture Of Basic Pharmaceutical Products And Pharmaceutical Preparations
21.20 - Manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations

327 - 507 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
11 December 2018
Employment effect (start)
1 January 2019
Foreseen end date
30 September 2019


The German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has announced a reorganisation of its activities in France and the loss of 327 jobs. The job cuts will affect the group's two French entities: 130 job cuts by Merial at Lyon (animal health, 2,300 employees) and 197 by BI France at Paris (human health, 500 employees). These job cuts represent 10% of the workforce in France. Management justifies these measures by 'an increasingly restrictive sector, particularly in human health', the need to 'resize the commercial organisation' and its long-standing intention 'to group the group's support functions in Lyon'. The plan also provides for the modification of 180 employment contracts (including 120 for BI France) for medical representatives (changes in geographical areas) and transfers to Lyon. These employees could be dismissed if they refuse their transfer.

The group bought the animal health division (Mérial) from Sanofi Group in January 2017.  According to Boehringer Ingelheim, it has invested €335 million in this sector and created 250 jobs. But the end of the two-year employment guarantee period, negotiated at the time of the takeover, is coming to an end and the Lyon site, 'with its duplicates inherited from the merger, is targeted by job groupings', says a union source. Boehringer Ingelheim has 47,000 employees and a turnover of 16 €billion. 



Eurofound (2018), Boehringer Ingelheim France, Internal restructuring in France, factsheet number 96189, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/96189.