Avecia sell off continues as Fujifilm buy piece

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chemical industry Merck kgaa

The break up of global fine and specialty chemicals company Avecia
continued as Fujifilm said it would take over Avecia Inkjet
formally next month. The €220 million fee to acquire the company's
Inkjet and Electrophotography arm of the business, leaves Avecia
Biotechnology as the surviving piece of the company.

The deal closely follows the sale of the custom synthesis operation to Nicolas Piramal of India, which was completed in December and is the latest sell off in a process that began in 1999.

Under the terms of the acquisition, which is expected to end in February 2006, Fujifilm are to receive all Avecia Inkjet and EP development and manufacturing assets in Manchester, England, Grangemouth, Scotland and New Castle, Delaware, USA.

All 340 employees will transfer with the business, which will operate as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Fujifilm.

"By integrating its own synthetic chemicals technology, dispersive technology, and raw materials technology with Avecia's inkjet production technology, Fujifilm​ will enhance its technical position in the market,"​ the company said in a statement.

With the completion of this deal, Synven and Invest Corp, Avecia's financial owners, will have washed their hands of their investment in the speciality and fine chemical operations, which was renamed Avecia and was a former specialist chemicals unit of AstraZeneca.

The writing was on the wall as Avecia said in a statement that it intended to undertake a form of corporate restructuring in 2006 to improve the distributable reserves position in Avecia Group.

Indeed, last year saw Avecia announce that KemFine has acquired Avecia Fine Chemicals Limited based in Grangemouth, Scotland for an undisclosed sum.

In addition, Avecia completed the sale of its OLED (organic light emitting diodes) materials and polymer electronics businesses to Merck KGaA of Damstadt, for €50 million.

The sale included Avecia's displays business - Covion Organic Semiconductors GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany and its polymer electronics research and development activities based in Manchester, UK. The combined units had sales of approx €8 million in 2004.

In February, Avecia announced it had completed the sale of its NeoResins business to Royal DSM N.V, having obtained all necessary approvals.

DSM had paid Avecia​ €515 million in cash for the entire NeoResins business on a cash and debt free basis. NeoResins sales in 2004 were around €270 million with an EBITDA of approximately €52 million.

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