Hexal buys chemical synthesis plant

Related tags Chemical reaction

Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Hexal has bought a facility near
Dresden from specialty chemicals firm Degussa.

The acquisition provides Hexal with its first dedicated chemical synthesis plant, allowing it to manufacture its own pharmaceutical ingredients. At present, the bulk of the company's production capability is based at its Magdeburg facility in Germany, which makes and packs solid oral dosage forms, ointments, creams and liquids.

The purchase price for the facility has not been disclosed, but is expected to help Degussa as it continues the restructuring of its fine chemicals division, which was split into two separate units (Exclusive Synthesis & Catalysts and Building Blocks) last year.

The Radebeul plant will begin production for Hexal on 1 July - subject to the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office - and thereupon operate as an independent subsidiary under the company name Hexal Synthese.

The new owner is providing a guarantee of employment for 177 jobs for a period of five years, and will retain 31 existing apprenticeships as well.

Dr Thomas Strüngmann, Hexal's founder and director, said that tapping into the existing expertise at the site will allow the company to establish an efficient and profitable production unit within a very short period of time.

The company has said that it will launch no fewer than 37 new products on the market in 2004 and is aiming at growth of 10 to 20 per cent. Sales for full-year 2003 reached €1.1 billion but are expected to rise to €1.3-€1.4 billion based on turnover of 250 products this year.

Struengmann said a planned stock exchange listing will be postponed to allow management to devote all its attention to the new product launches and site integration.

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