Novartis Said to Scout for Additional Office Space in Dublin

Novartis AG (NOVN), Europe’s largest drugmaker by revenue, is looking for office space in Dublin and may lease an additional 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters), two people with knowledge of the matter said.

IDA Ireland, the government agency that seeks overseas investment, is working with Novartis, said the people, who asked not to be named because the company hasn’t yet decided whether to expand. A building at Elm Park about six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the center of the Irish capital is one of the properties being considered by the Basel, Switzerland-based company, one of the people said.

Ireland’s corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent and tax credits for research-and-development investments has attracted companies like Novartis, which employs more than 500 people in the country. Medical and pharmaceutical companies exported more than 24.3 billion euros ($30 billion) of goods from Ireland in 2010, about 27 percent of Irish exports, according to the country’s statistics office.

“We never comment on client companies,” IDA spokesman Emmet Oliver said by e-mail. Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff declined to comment.

Office rents in Dublin have fallen by more than 50 percent since their peak about five years ago, according to a report by the IDA. No office properties have been built in the city in two years, broker CBRE Group Inc. (CBG) said in a report last month.

Novartis has units in Dublin and the village of Ringaskiddy, according to the latest accounts filed at the Companies Registration Office.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.

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