The patent cliff issue is not a new one as it has been well known for the past eight years and Ireland has been positioning itself in the traditional pharmaceutical business to make sure that facilities are no longer only manufacturing but that they comprise development and manufacturing co-located together. A substantial amount of the IDA's research and development budget goes towards that development and manufacturing model. The new form of pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, were winning considerable investment in that area. What has happened globally is that because companies were losing products to patent expiration and they did not have enough new ones coming on steam, they tended to look for mergers. I would point to two in particular, Pfizer acquiring Wyeth and Merck acquiring Schering Plough. Pfizer was left with 11 facilities in a country the size of Ireland and overall it was left with about 100 facilities in excess of what it needed.
In that case, they have been shedding and rationalising. However, four of the Pfizer sites have already been acquired by other pharmaceutical companies. Amgen acquired the Pottery Road facility in Dún Laoghaire. Hovione, the Portuguese company, bought one of the facilities in Cork. J&J has bought another one, as did a Californian company, BioMarin. A number of these are brand new companies and it was a way of attracting them. That being said, there is still pressure and will be.
There are currently eight existing clients in Ireland investing over €100 million per project. Those, which are underway, will bring new capacity on stream. Regeneron, which is a company that has a value of approximately €30 billion on the stock exchange, announced yesterday that it would invest $300 million in Limerick to employ 300 staff and 600 construction workers, and there are a number of projects of similar scale in the pipeline. Having run through a couple of rough years, some companies are beginning to come out of it but new players are coming on as well. It is an important business because there is much construction activity associated with it as well.
On a couple of points Senator Clune mentioned about the jobs announced and the real jobs, first, over half of all investments are never announced. For confidential reasons, companies do not want to go public. Second, IDA Ireland is not judged on job announcements. IDA Ireland states publicly, in all its reports, the number of jobs created. The number of jobs created in recent years are approximately twice the number that were announced. The message of that is there is no correlation between announcements. There are far more jobs created. We probably would announce 5,000, 6,000 or 7,000 jobs and we could be creating 10,000, 11,000 or 12,000. One will see that in the annual report, in our end-of-year statement that comes out in January.
As regards the regional office in the south east, we have a team of four staff in the south east, based in Waterford. We do not have a director because we have 19 offices around the global - we have ten in Ireland - and in recent years, like all organisations, we have had tightness in our staffing numbers. We want to expand to different markets and with the transport infrastructure, one does not need a director in every region. In fact, what we need is more staff out in the global marketplace generating business rather than them based in some of the regional ones.
Senator Clune mentioned property. Property is an issue, particularly large footprint property. I am talking about property of 100,000 sq. ft. In the first instance, I will talk about Dublin. There has been a large take-up of large office space in Dublin by FDI clients. Three clients alone, Deutsche Bank, Novartis and Facebook, have acquired over 300,000 sq. ft. over the past couple of months. That is an enormous amount of space. There are further buildings that are of that size, but only a very small number. Bearing in mind each of those buildings can hold 1,000 staff, we would be confident of continuing to win more investments of that scale and very quickly we will run out of such large footprint buildings. If one comes today and states that there is no office building, it will be 18 to 24 months by the time one can bring that on stream.
Cork is winning much FDI. There is a good pipeline for Cork but, because of, I suppose, unique circumstances in Cork, it has one of the construction companies, Cleary,-----