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Novacap to acquire U.K. specialties maker Chemoxy

Purchase will continue expansion push by French chemical company

by Rick Mullin
July 9, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 28

In the latest in a string of acquisitions, the French fine and specialty chemical company Novacap has agreed to purchase Chemoxy International, a U.K.-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals and solvents.

Chemoxy, with about 150 employees and 2016 sales of $54 million, operates plants in Middlesbrough and Billingham, England. The company specializes in low-toxicity solvents, solvent recovery, and personal care ingredients.

Novacap, which employs more than 2,750 people and had sales last year of about $725 million, was formed in 2003 as an industrial chemical spin-off of Rhodia. In 2011, it started adding pharmaceutical chemical businesses with the acquisition of Rhodia Analgesics.

In 2013, Novacap acquired a controlling stake in Taixing Yangzi Pharm Chemical, a Chinese maker of p-aminophenol, a raw material for the analgesic acetaminophen. Two years later, it acquired Chemie Uetikon, a German custom manufacturer of drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Earlier this year, Novacap agreed to acquire PCAS, a French custom synthesis and drug ingredients firm in a deal valued at $250 million.

Chemoxy serves pharmaceutical markets in addition to specialty markets such as flavors and fragrances, food, surface coatings, and lubricants.

Fine chemicals industry consultant Roger LaForce says the Chemoxy deal fits well into Novacap’s strategy of building a highly diversified chemical company. “Obviously, they want to grow by acquisitions,” he says, but success will hinge on the firm’s ability to consolidate and “carve out synergies” among nine distinct businesses that include botanicals for cosmetics, mineral specialties, pharmaceutical chemical manufacturing, and generic analgesics.


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