When the deal closes at the end of August, subject to regulatory approvals, it will significantly broaden Bilcare's product line and global reach. The firm, a specialist in producing traceable pharmaceutical packaging to discourage counterfeit drugs, has annual sales of about $230 million. It has 500 employees and operates manufacturing and research facilities in India, Singapore, the U.S., and the U.K.
The addition of the Ineos business will give Bilcare an extra $315 million in annual sales and enlarge its footprint with nine manufacturing sites in Germany, Italy, India, and the U.S. that together employ 1,300 people. Besides pharmaceutical blister packaging, the Ineos business makes printing and decorative films, shrink films, and plastic credit cards.
According to Ian Hogan, Ineos Films CEO, the packaging business "is no longer core to the Ineos Group." Instead, he says, the company will "focus its attention on its large-scale petrochemical businesses." That was the same reason Ineos gave earlier this year for the sale of its fluorochemical operations to Mexichem for $420 million shortly after the firm had to renegotiate financing terms with creditors (C&EN, Feb. 8, page 12).
Ineos originally acquired most of the films business in 2001 when it purchased a majority share in EVC International. The business has an annual capacity of 180,000 metric tons of polyvinyl chloride-based films, and 8,000 metric tons of polyethylene terephthalate-based films.