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UPDATE 1-Elanco to cut over 900 positions in first reorganization since Bayer unit deal

(Adds restructuring details, background)

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Elanco Animal Health Inc said on Wednesday it would cut more than 900 positions across nearly 40 countries, in the first restructuring action since the closing of its $6.89 billion acquisition of Bayer’s veterinary drugs unit.

The unit’s acquisition, which was completed last month, created the world’s second-largest company in the sector. Elanco said it started repayment of the loan that funded the Bayer Animal Health takeover.

The job cuts primarily affect positions in sales and marketing, and also research and development, manufacturing and quality, the company said.

With the move, the company expects to reduce “duplication” and optimize its footprint particularly in Basel, Switzerland.

“After our early view of the combined business, we have full confidence in delivering $275 million to $300 million in synergies, with the first two-thirds coming in the first 30 months,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Simmons said in a statement.

The cost of the proposed actions is expected to be between $190 million and $210 million.

Elanco said it expects to realize at least $100 million of annual compensation and benefits savings from the action.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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