San Juan, PR – The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) confirmed with optimism and enthusiasm Merck’s announcement of an agreement with American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC), to sell the manufacturing facility in Arecibo that was under closing plans. As part of the agreement, AIAC will retain the approximately 200 Merck employees at the Arecibo manufacturing facility.AIAC is an industrial group comprised of sixty manufacturing sites in eighteen countries with over 9,500 employees. It has $1.5 billion in annual revenues and is privately-held in the Unites States. It has been built over the last eighteen years by acquiring, operating and growing former divisions and subsidiaries of the world’s leading corporations such as United Technologies, Boeing, Siemens, Ingersoll Rand and Lockheed Martin. AIAC manufactures for Dow, ABB, GE, Shell, Du Pont and many other world-class companies.“This transaction represents a major achievement, not only for Merck, but also for PRIDCO and for Puerto Rico”, explained PRIDCO executive director Antonio Medina. “Upon completion of the transaction, Puerto Rico will retain the operation of Merck’s second site that was under closing plans, now with a different owner, protecting the jobs and manufacturing operations in the area. This reaffirms the island capabilities to attract renewed industrial investment.”According to the information provided to PRIDCO, under the agreement, the facility would continue to supply certain products to Merck for a period of time. Eventually, some of those products will consolidate into Merck’s Las Piedras manufacturing facility and others will transfer to a third-party contract manufacturer. AIAC would continue running the operations in Arecibo, supplying other manufacturing products for other clients.“We are extremely satisfied with Merck’s continued efforts and commitment to maintaining key manufacturing jobs in Puerto Rico in the midst of its global initiative to improve its overall operational effectiveness. PRIDCO will continue engaging with Merck and other companies like AIAC to secure Puerto Rico’s position in the global manufacturing footprint as a high-quality investment destination”, added Medina Comas.By the end of 2013, Merck confirmed to PRIDCO the plan to redesign its Puerto Rico manufacturing capabilities to focus on new product development and new product launches. This included an investment of more than $100 million in the Las Piedras facility made over the past years and plans to cease operations or sell the Arecibo and Barceloneta facilities. After the efforts made by Merck with the support of PRIDCO to market and find alternate uses to those sites, both the Arecibo and Barceloneta facilities will remain in operation under different owners, protecting the jobs on these sites.