Rockwood sheds Groupe Novasep in €425m deal

By Anna Lewcock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Novasep Groupe novasep Water purification

Rockwood Holdings announced last week that it has reached an
agreement to sell its subsidiary Groupe Novasep to a consortium of
buyers in a transaction valued at €425m.

Just two years after joining forces through the merger of Groupe Novasep and Rockwood's Dynamic Synthesis, Rockwood is to sell off the group to a financial investor group.

The consortium is lead by Gilde Buyout Partners BV, and includes Banexi Capital Partenaires, and Groupe Novasep management, who will own approximately 28 per cent of the capital.

The original merger aimed to join together Groupe Novasep's proprietary separation technologies with Dynamic Synthesis' fine chemical capabilities, which then operated on the market as two distinct networks - Novasep Synthesis and Novasep Process.

This section of the business is now being sold off by parent company Rockwood, who expect the transaction to be complete within 60 days, following approval by the relevant competition authorities in the European Union and United States.

Currently owned 78.6 per cent by Rockwood and 21.4 per cent by its management, Groupe Novasep will continue to operate through the two divisions, which contribute to approximately €280m of sales.

Novasep Synthesis offers the production of advanced intermediates or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), and produces and markets proprietary products, typically generics.

The group's other division, Novasep Process, is a leader in the field of chromatography working in the separation and purification sector. In 2005 Rockwood itself achieved net sales of $3.1bn (€2.3bn).

Novasep Group founder and CEO, Roger Marc Nicoud, said that following the group's merger with Rockwood subsidiary Dynamic Synthesis in late 2004, it was decided that the group's partnership with Rockwood would be limited in time.

"Today, it is time for Novasep to go back to more independence, and tocontinue on its successful growth path,"​ said Nicoud.

"The significant participation of management guarantees a high level of continuity which enables us to follow our strong development."

Novasep is the fourth investment conducted in 2006 by Gilde Buy Out Fund III, a €600m buy-out fund closed in 2006.

Gilde also is or has been the main owner of Norit, a leading water purification company specialising in process technology and active carbon, CABB, a leading producer of chloro acetyl building blocks, and Thermphos, a supplier of phosphorus based specialty chemicals.

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