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Edwards Lifesciences marks 40 years in Puerto Rico with $34M expansion

(From left:) Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera, Chief of Staff Miguel Romero, Carlos Rivera-Vélez, vice president of manufacturing of Edwards Lifesciences in Añasco and Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association Executive Director William Riefkohl take questions from the media during a news conference Tuesday.

Medical device manufacturer Edwards Lifesciences will be investing $34 million to expand its Añasco facility, creating 263 jobs and retaining 52 existing ones, company and government officials said Tuesday.

California-based Edwards Lifesciences has been doing business in Puerto Rico since 1972, employing about 1,000 people at it’s Añasco complex, where it manufactures critical care technologies.

The plant is Edwards’ leading facility worldwide, company CEO Michael A. Mussallem said during a visit to the island last year.

“This injection occurs at a time when the economies of Spain, Greece and Ireland are plummeting,” Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera said during a news conference at the agency’s Hato Rey headquarters. “This company is ensuring the retention of intellectual capital that our most valuable resource, the Puerto Rican professional, provides.”

Earlier this month, Edwards reported net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012 of $69.2 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, compared to net income of $51.6 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the same period in 2011. The company reported a third quarter net sales increase of 8.5 percent to $447.9 million compared to the same period last year.

Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. The company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies in the areas of structural heart disease and critical care monitoring that enable them to save and enhance lives.

The company has both manufacturing and sales offices in Puerto Rico.

In an aside with News is my Business, Pérez-Riera confirmed that Edwards Lifesciences recently renewed its incentives decree with the government, signing on for another 15 years.

“That pretty much shows their commitment to Puerto Rico. The huge investment in this plant in Añasco reinforces the confidence Edwards Lifesciences has in the island’s business climate,” he said. “The local management’s leadership and the productivity of its workforce have been key factors in this new expansion.”

In 2002, the company marked its 30th anniversary on the island with a major ceremony attended by government officials and then-governor Sila M. Calderón.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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