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Ex-UCB unit sells for €0.8bn

By Anna Lewcock , 05-Jul-2007

Taminco, UCB's old intermediates and derivatives unit, has been sold at auction to European investment group CVC Capital Partners for €0.8bn.

Less than four years ago Taminco, now the world's largest producer of alkylamines and derivatives, was carved out and sold by UCB for €115m - considerably less than the Belgium-based firm managed to generate at auction earlier this week.

 

 

 

The agreement between CVC and Taminco was agreed yesterday, and according to Taminco CEO Pol Vanderhaeghen is expected to be complete in the next six weeks.

 

 

 

Taminco supplies the building blocks for active ingredients, as well as solvents used during the synthesis and purification of drugs. The company is one of the world's largest producers of mono-, di- and trimethylamines, and the leading European supplier of the free market.

 

 

 

The company supplies some companies directly (such as former parent company UCB, and Merck), and others indirectly as firms use its intermediates and functional chemicals to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients which are then sold on to pharma firms.

 

 

 

The company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, and has eight production sites worldwide: two in Europe, three in the US, one in Brazil and two in China, with a total installed production capacity of 1,000,000MT/y.

 

 

 

Prior to being sold off by UCB in 2003, Taminco generated a turnover of €186m - 2007 revenues are expected to be nearer the €600m mark.

 

 

 

The company is pursuing aggressive globalisation plans, which will be helped by the CVC acquisition.

 

 

 

"We are already the leader in Europe and the US," Vanderhaeghen told in-PharmaTechnologist.com.

 

 

"And we plan to grow in Asia, first selling our products and then through acquisitions or building plants…the CVC acquisition gives us the scope to do this."

 

 

The auction was instigated by Taminco's main shareholders, AlpInvest Partners, and out of the handful of main bidders, CVC came up trumps. According to Vanderhaeghen, CVC was able to come up with a simplified purchase agreement (SPA) that required the least number of redrafts in the shortest time, winning them the auction.

 

 

 

According to CVC, the transaction will be structured with a conventional split between equity and debt, with the total equity contribution expected to be around €200m. CVC will hold a 75 per cent stake in the company, with the remainder being held by the existing management team.

 

 

 

While the business priorities and structure will remain unchanged, Vanderhaeghen says that the acquisition will help further focus Taminco's globalisation activities, and "start a new chapter in the Taminco story".