Solutia sells pharma services biz to Indian firm

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Solutia, Bankruptcy

India's Dishman Pharmaceuticals & Chemicals has snapped up the
Swiss-based pharmaceutical services business, Carbogen and Amcis,
of financially-troubled US chemical firm Solutia for the sum of
$74.5m (€58m).

The deal, however, which involves the purchase of a 100 per cent stake in CarboGen and Amcis, as well as other assets, is still subject to regulatory approvals, including the bankruptcy court overseeing Solutia's recent re-organisation.

Solutia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2004, in a bid to shake off its responsibility for legal, environmental and retirement costs absorbed when it became an independent company in 1997.

Since then, a federal bankruptcy judge in New York gave Solutia two extensions to allow it to come up with a plan to return to profitability and Rothschild was hired to explore 'strategic options' for the troubled firm, of which this sale is one of the outcomes.

"Carbogen and Amcis was acquired by Solutia six years ago when we were experiencing a growth phase, however, we are now experiencing a period of consolidation and are now in the process of restructuring the company to focus on our core businesses,"​ Solutia spokesperson, Dan Jenkins told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

"The pharmaceutical services business, which last year had a turnover of CHF 80m (€51.6m), is only a very small part of our company, accounting for only two per cent of annual turnover, which is why we chose to divest it."

After the sale, Solutia will no longer be involved in the pharma industry and will instead focus on its four core chemicals businesses: Integrated Nylon, Laminated Glazing, CP films and Specialty Products.

As Solutia steers its business away from the pharma sector, Dishman has seized an opportunity too good to miss, using the purchase to expand its current offerings, particularly its contract manufacturing and services business.

Carbogen and Amcis provides a range of chemistry, R&D and manufacturing services to the bipharma industry, from its facilities at three sites in Switzerland, that are complimentary to Dishman's existing operations.

"Dishman currently focuses on early stage synthesis and large scale manufacturing so they are on both ends of the drug lifecycle, however, Solutia now fills the gaps in the middle, with no overlap,"​ said Jenkins.

New customers gained from Carbogen will also boost the Indian firm's contract manufacturing business and the purchase now equips Dishman as the only contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) in India with high potency capabilities.

Dishman plans to keep business running as usual from its acquired sites, although has indicated that it hopes to use its operational experience in India to revive flagging profits in the segment, as well as building upon the existing business.

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