French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis said on Tuesday it was restructuring its research and development facilities in France, closing four sites and transferring their activities to bigger centres.
The group said it would launch a scheme to encourage some employees to leave the group but that there would be no forced redundancies.
The president of the group in France, Christian Lajoux, told AFP that among researchers 850 people would be eligible to leave the company and 450 among administrative staff. He gave no target figure for a reduction of staff and said no-one would be forced out.
The sites are concerned are, in the Paris region, at Bagneux where about 200 people are employed, Reuil-Malmaison 140 people, and Evry 60 people. These workers would be moved to a site at Chilly-Mazarin.
In the Haute-Garonne region, about 150 people at Labege would be moved to a site at Toulouse.
The group is also trying to sell a site at Porcheville in Les Yvelines west of Paris where about 200 people are employed. The group has 14 sites for research and development in France, including those used by its vaccine subsidiary Sanofi Pasteur, which employ a total of 6,500 people.
Elsewhere, the group would transfer four sites, in Britain, Spain, Japan and the United States, in each case grouping a facility with a bigger one in the country.
Lajoux said that the intention was to reorganise research to make it more competitive. The group would also streamline the hierarchy of its research and strengthen links with the academic world.