PENANG: World-renowned cardiovascular medical devices manufacturer St Jude Medical Inc from the US is planning to invest in Penang.
Sources said the group planned to invest an initial RM100mil to set up Asia’s first pacemaker manufacturing facility.
StarBiz learnt that St Jude Medical sent a team to Penang in the third quarter of 2007 to negotiate with the state government, then led by former chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
St Jude Medical would most probably establish its facility on the 10-acre site currently occupied by Inventec Electronics, the Taiwanese manufacturer of consumer electronic products, in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Estate. Inventec is in the process of being relocated.
Sources said St Jude Medical was in the advanced stages of negotiation with Inventec and the state government.
“The St Jude Medical manufacturing facility would create about 500 high-end job opportunities,” the sources said.
It is learnt that the group had earlier attempted to set up a similar manufacturing plant in China but it did not work out.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Minnesota-based group also manufactures implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronisation therapy devices, electrophysiology catheters, mapping and visualisation systems, vascular closure devices, heart valve replacement and repair products neurostimulation devices.
The company has more than 20 principal operations and manufacturing facilities worldwide, with products sold in more than 100 countries.
St Jude Medical, with net sales of US$3.8bil in 2007, employs about 12,000 staff worldwide.
Another US group that is making its way to Penang is Honeywell Aerospace.
StarBiz last month reported that the company was shifting a substantial portion of its activities to the Prai Industrial Estate this year.
Recently, Samsung Electronics Co was also said to be keen on setting up a RM3.5bil plant to manufacture memory chips in Batu Kawan, Seberang Prai.