Company news

February 27, 2012

Eli Lilly and Co. plans to invest about $440 million in a new drug plant at an existing company site in southern Ireland, according to Bloomberg News. The new facility in Kinsale in County Cork will require as many as 200 skilled employees when fully operational, according to a statement on economic development organization IDA Ireland's website. Indianapolis-based Lilly will begin construction on the 240,000-square-foot manufacturing facility next month and plans to have it operational by late 2013, according to the Belfast Telegraph. Lilly already employs about 700 people at four sites in Ireland. Its first plant in the country opened in 1981. The company opened the Kinsale campus in 2010 after announcing it would spend about $360 million on the project. The existing Kinsale facility manufactures active ingredients in treatments for cancer and diabetes. Lilly employs about 38,000 people worldwide.

As expected, SynCare LLC has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The once fast-growing, Indianapolis-based disease-management company listed in court papers liabilities of nearly $5.7 million and assets of just $125,864. The company’s decline pushed CEO Stephanie DeKemper into personal bankruptcy in late December, with the company itself expected to follow. SynCare’s largest secured creditors include Fifth Third Bank, which provided two loans totaling $850,000 to the company. Unsecured creditors include Bank of America, with a claim totaling $676,964, and Centene Corp. in St. Louis, which provided SynCare a loan totaling nearly $1.5 million. SynCare effectively ceased operation in September after it withdrew from a major contract it had with the Missouri Medicaid program. Also earlier last year, Centene—which was both a client and a lender to SynCare—stopped funding the company’s operations. SynCare used nurses and social workers to call and visit Medicaid patients to evaluate their needs and teach them how to handle their health issues, in order to avoid expensive hospitalizations.

Profit at CNO Financial Group Inc. was flat in the fourth quarter, but the Carmel-based life and health insurer still beat analysts’ predictions. CNO Financial announced Feb. 22 that it earned $73 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, in the three months ended Dec. 31. In the same quarter a year ago, the company earned $168.2 million—of which $95 million was one-time gain from an accounting adjustment. Excluding investment gains, CNO’s operations generated $60.1 million, or 22 cents per share, in its most recent quarter. On that basis, Wall Street analysts were expecting CNO to earn 19 cents per share in the quarter, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. CNO’s revenue totaled $1.05 billion in the fourth quarter. That was 2 percent lower than the same quarter last year, driven by lower investment gains and income. Analysts were expecting only $1.01 billion in revenue.