Contract research organization AMRI has acquired Excelsyn, a U.K. pharmaceutical chemical manufacturer, for about $19 million in cash. AMRI CEO Thomas E. D’Ambra says Excelsyn gives his firm a European manufacturing presence and will help increase its business with large European drug companies. Excelsyn, which specializes in process research and development chemistry, operates a plant in Holywell, North Wales. The company employs 60 people and had sales last year of $15 million. It was founded in 2004 by Ian Shott, a fine chemicals executive who previously held posts at firms such as Rhodia, Lonza, and Zeneca. Shott will work with AMRI in a consulting role.