Solutia Europe has hired Rothschild to explore 'strategic options', including the possible sale, of the pharmaceutical operation, which has annual sales of around $50 million or 2 per cent of its parent's yearly revenue.
Solutia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December. Since then, a federal bankruptcy judge in New York has given Solutia two extensions to allow it to come up with a plan to return to profitability. It now has until the middle of October to set its house in order.
However, Solutia Europe has been insulated from the woes affecting its parent after restructuring its finances, giving it breathing space while Solutia in the US and its domestic subsidiaries reorganise.
There had been concerns that the operations of Solutia Europe would have been disrupted by the US bankruptcy process, in which Solutia is trying to transfer liabilities of around $100 million a year to former parent Monsanto.
Solutia was forced to file for bankruptcy in the US last year in a bid to shake off its responsibility for legal, environmental and retirement costs absorbed when it became an independent company in 1997.
In 1999, Monsanto was acquired by Pharmacia & Upjohn to create Pharmacia, which in 2002 completed a spin-off of its biotechnology and agricultural businesses to form the current Monsanto. Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer in April 2003.
The Pharmaceutical Services Division was established in 2000 following the acquisitions of CarboGen and AMCIS, and was bolstered in 2002 by the additions of Axio Research and Pharmaceutical Advisors.
Carbogen provides process research, analytical services and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) synthesis, while AMCIS focuses on process development and larger-scale API manufacture. Meanwhile, Axio specialises in data management, quality control and statistical analysis and Pharmaceutical Advisors brings drug development expertise to the business.