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Pharmaceutical Chemicals

Roquette to buy IFF’s excipient line for $2.85 billion

Sale to create new home for business formed in Dow-DuPont merger

by Michael McCoy
March 20, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 9


Drug capsules scattered on a surface.
Credit: Shutterstock
Pharma Solutions produces inactive ingredients for capsules and other oral drugs.

The food ingredient maker Roquette has agreed to buy the Pharma Solutions business of International Flavors & Fragrances for $2.85 billion. The unit makes a range of oral drug excipients, or inactive ingredients, in facilities gathered from several owners in recent years.

Pharma Solutions has about 1,100 employees and 10 plants and R&D sites; it generated $1 billion in sales last year. The parties expect to complete the deal in the first half of 2025.

The move is the latest in a series of divestments by IFF as the firm digests the assets it gained from merging withDuPont’s nutrition and bioscience division, a $26 billion deal that was announced in 2019. In turn, the Pharma Solutions assets came together as a result of the historic merger and demergerof Dow and DuPont that occurred between 2017 and 2019.

A core Pharma Solutions product line, Methocel water-soluble cellulose ethers, was originally a Dow business. Another product, Grindsted xanthan gum, was part of Danisco, a food and drug ingredient firm that DuPont acquired in 2011.

Yet another part of the business, a line of excipients based on seaweed-derived carrageenan and alginates, was once part of FMC. DuPont obtained that operation when it swapped a large portion of its crop protection chemical business for FMC’s nutrition business—a transaction required to get European antitrust regulators to clear the merger with Dow.

Roquette already offers a line of plant-derived excipients such as mannitol and starches. It boosted its presence in drug ingredients last year with the purchase of the Qualicaps hard-shell capsule line from Mitsubishi Chemical Group.



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