05 November 2001 17:06 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--French specialty chemicals company Rhodia has acquired the US paracetamol business of BASF Corp and is to invest in a new joint venture paracetamol operation in China as part of a major reinforcement of its analgesics business.
Rhodia said Monday that the restructuring of its paracetamol and aspirin operations would also involve closure of its St Louis, Missouri aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) production. The facility is to cease production at the end of 2002, affecting 50 jobs.
Bulk aspirin production will be consolidated at Rhodia's production sites in Saint Fons, France and Bangpoo, Thailand.
Rhodia said the decision to cease production at St Louis was made "to adjust capacity to demand levels and improve the business' competitiveness".
The acquisition of BASF's paracetamol business will include customer lists, production inventory, contracts and agreements, patents and patent applications plus some manufacturing equipment. However, it will not include ownership of BASF's Bishop, Texas, paracetamol plant which is expected to phase out acetaminophen (or APAP) production. Rhodia will supply its new customers with paracetamol from its Luling, Louisiana site.
In China, Rhodia has acquired a 90% stake in the existing paracetamol manufacturing operating of Wuxi Shahne Group No 1 Pharmaceutical Co which is located at Wuxi in Jiangsu province. Rhodia has formed a new joint venture - Rhodia Wuxi Pharmaceutical Co - through the China deal. It intends to invest in the Wuxi operation with the intention of making it the best paracetamol facility in Asia.
Rhodia was unable to quantify the investment planned at Wuxi or give any financial details of its deals with BASF or Wuxi Shahne Group.
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