U.S. markets open in 8 hours

Teva Pharm to reduce workforce in Israel, mainly in production

TEL AVIV, July 23 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said on Sunday it would lay off some of its 7,000 employees in Israel in the coming months as it reorganises in a drive to improve competitiveness.

Teva, Israel's largest company, did not specify how many workers would leave, but a source close to the process told Reuters the number would be about 350, mainly in production.

Teva employs 4,000 workers in production in Israel. It has already begun consultations with unions at two of its productions sites, one in the central city of Kfar Saba and the other in the southern Negev desert.

"In light of the complex business reality the entire pharmaceutical industry and Teva in particular face, Teva has been implementing in recent years a global reorganisation," it said in a statement. "Large parts of this plan have already been completed in most of the countries Teva operates."

Teva's acting chief executive, Yitzhak Peterburg, said the company was committed to do all it can to guarantee that its work sites in Israel were competitive, efficient and sustainable for the long term.

Teva was left without a permanent CEO in February after Erez Vigodman stepped down, leaving new management to try to restore confidence in the world's biggest generic drugmaker after a series of missteps. Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh also resigned at the end of June.

The company's stock price has been languishing since it acquired the Actavis generics drug business from Allergan last year for $40.5 billion. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Mark Potter)