Nestlé closure a hammer blow for West Limerick

There are faint hopes that a buyer can be found for the Nestlé-owned infant formula factory Wyeth Nutritionals in Askeaton, which is set to close in early 2026 with the loss of just over 540 jobs.
Weekend reports suggest one possible buyer as Perrigo, which is head-quartered in Dublin, and bought a US pharma and nutrition company from Nestlé last year.
Nestlé said it had tried to find a buyer for the Askeaton plant, but its efforts had been unsuccessful.
However, it added that during the consultation period with staff it will remain open to approaches from “a credible buyer”.
“We regret the uncertainty this announcement (of closure) will cause our colleagues and their families, and we will make sure they are supported fully throughout this process,” Nestlé said.
Said Unite Regional Co-ordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald: “Management now needs to engage immediately with unions to explore alternatives to closure of the plant and minimise redundancies, while also ensuring the best possible package of supports for any workers who do lose their jobs.”
“We will now consult with all employees and their representative unions,” Nestlé promised.
Simon Coveney, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said officials in his department have commenced engagement with the management and workers in the company.
“The full range of State supports will be made available to the employees, and we will examine each and every option to ensure that the best possible outcome is reached for all concerned,” said Minister Coveney.
Under current plans, Nestlé will transfer production from Askeaton to two existing factories in Suzhou (China) and Konolfingen, Switzerland.
“These proposals have been carefully considered and are no reflection on the excellent contribution made by our employees in Askeaton over many years,” Nestlé said.
In terms of the loss to the local economy, its departure is immeasurable. The yearly wage bill in Askeaton is around €50 million.
Nestlé is worth in the region of €500,000 in commercial rates per annum to Limerick City and County Council.