CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The State Loan and Investment Board on Thursday approved loaning an additional $12 million to a pharmaceutical manufacturer that is expanding its operations in northern Wyoming.
The board — Gov. Matt Mead and the four other statewide elected officials — unanimously approved the new loan for Cody Laboratories, which is a subsidiary of the Philadelphia-based Lannett Co.
The board last year approved an $11 million loan to the company for the same expansion. The additional loan approved Thursday will bring the total to $23 million.
The interest rate and other details of the Cody Labs loans are still being worked out by the state treasurer’s office, officials said.
Once the details are determined, the loan will go to the governor for final approval.
Cody Labs President Bernhard Opitz told the board that the loans will help the company expand production and research, allowing it to sell its products worldwide.
The expansion project will cost $50.5 million and will allow the company to more than double its estimated production capacity.
“We are pleased with the help by the state to make our project a reality,” Opitz said after the meeting. “As we start operating this additional facility, our headcount will grow by 57 people.”
The company, which was established in Cody in 2000, currently employs 135 workers, he said.
James Klessens, CEO and president of the Forward Cody economic development organization, said the expansion is significant for the Cody area because of the number of well-paying jobs it will create.
“By the time this project is completed they will be the largest manufacturer, not only in Cody but in the Big Horn Basin,” Klessens said.
Money for the loans comes from $50 million that the state Legislature has set aside in recent years to help pay for large economic development initiatives around the state.
Mead and other members of the state board praised the project for its economic benefits.
Mead and other state leaders have been promoting economic development initiatives aimed at diversifying the state’s economy, which relies heavily on the up-and-down energy extraction industry. Mead said he hopes the Legislature will act to make such initiatives “more robust.”
In separate action, the state board also approved a $4.2 million grant and loan package to Sheridan’s local economic development joint powers board. The funds will be used to help build a 40,000 square-foot (3,716 square-meter) expansion for vacuum systems manufacturer Vacutech’s existing headquarters in Sheridan. The project is expected to create 76 new jobs.