March 1 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories Inc said Thursday it will build a plant in Ohio to expand production of its adult nutritional products, Ensure and Glucerna, for the North American market.
Abbott generates nearly $2 billion in global sales from its Ensure protein shakes and its Glucerna products, which are available as snack bars and shakes to help diabetics control blood sugar levels. Abbott reported $6 billion in total nutritional sales for 2011, which amounted to 15 percent of overall company sales.
The company said on Thursday it will invest $270 million in the Tipp City, Ohio, facility, which will employ about 240 people.
Abbott is set to split into two companies later this year -- one for its pharmaceuticals, and the other a diversified products company that includes nutritionals as well as medical devices, diagnostics and generic drugs. (Reporting By Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)