05 February 2003 17:02 [Source: ICIS news]
He would not comment on the implications for jobs or identify which locations might be affected.
Areas of particular concern for Rhodia, he indicated, are pharmaceutical and agrochemical markets and polymers. Business is particularly difficult in North America and Europe, added Tirouflet, who was speaking at the company’s 2002 financial results press conference.
Tirouflet said in reference to Franco-German life sciences group Aventis it is “a shareholder with 25% of capital, but it is a shareholder the same as any other, despite being a competitor, because of anti-trust regulations.
He explained that Aventis wants to focus on pharmaceuticals, not chemicals, but the market conditions are not favourable for Aventis to sell its Rhodia stake. “We are looking with them for a solution to exit the chemicals market without it having an impact on our share value.”
Tirouflet added it was not an option for Rhodia to buy the shares itself, but that they might go to a third party. On questions regarding a bid for Rhodia, he commented that if one did materialise Rhodia would be obliged to consider it.
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