03 September 2002 09:14 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Dutch chemicals, performance materials and life sciences group DSM is to buy the vitamins and fine chemicals division of Swiss pharmaceuticals group Roche for Euro2.25bn ($2.21bn), it was announced on Tuesday.
Under the terms of the deal, which will now be concluded on an exclusive basis, present and future liabilities from the vitamin price fixing case will remain with Roche. The European Commission (EC) fined Roche Euro462m last November for participating in a vitamin price-fixing cartel.
Headquartered in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, Roche’s vitamins and fine chemicals division had global sales of SF3.5bn ($2.3bn/Euro2.4bn) last year and employs 7 500 people.
Roche chairman and chief executive Franz Humer said: "This is an excellent basis offering good prospects and continuity to the division and its employees."
He added: "This is a significant step for Roche to further focus our group on our two high-tech pillars, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics."
DSM said the acquisition, which follows the divestment of its petrochemical activities to Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) for Euro2.25bn in June, was an important step in its Vision 2005 strategy to concentrate on life science products and performance materials.
The Dutch group hopes to grow its sales to around Euro10bn by 2005 through both organic and acquisitive growth.
DSM managing board chairman Peter Elverding commented: "The combination of DSM’s life science products and Roche’s vitamins and fine chemicals business will be the world’s leading supplier to the life science industry. It will have a unique and coherent portfolio of businesses serving our customers in human nutrition, animal nutrition and health."
The deal is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities.
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