Chemical major BASF has expanded the range of products it offers to pharmaceutical clients with the $65 million (€58m) purchase of Callery Chemical from Mine Safety Appliances.
The purchase continues BASF's strategy of expanding into the life sciences market, which is less cyclical than other sectors of the chemical industry. Callery is a relatively small player, with annual sales of around $30 million, but is a leading manufacturer of boron and potassium reagents, used not as ingredients but primarily in specialty organic synthesis.
The products are used to produce a diverse range of high-purity, therapeutic drugs for the treatment of such conditions as high blood pressure, hypertension, depression and glaucoma.
"Callery is a perfect fit for BASF," said Wayne Hill, group vice president for intermediates and inorganics at BASF Corp in the USA, adding that the acquisition expands the group's inorganic product line "to one of the broadest available."
BASF will take over Callery's plant in Evans City in Pennsylvania, which will continue to manufacture some MSA products under a license agreed between the two companies. The transaction is expected to complete in the third quarter of this year.
Callery's product line comprises alkali metals and alcoholates used as strong bases and catalysts, borane chemicals used for selective reductions and hydroborations, and new boron products that support the rapidly growing chemistry technology known as Suzuki coupling.
Analysts said that cash-rich BASF is considering a number of acquisitions, mostly in the chemicals and oil and gas sectors, but is not expected to be in the frame for a large-scale merger.