Isochem owner completes Bayer site deal
Norwich location becomes Briar Chemical
Aurelius, the German investment fund that already owns Isochem and CalaChem, has completed the acquisition of Bayer CropScience’s production location in Norwich, UK, that was announced in April, taking its earnings in the speciality and fine chemicals field to over €200 million/year. The site is now operating under the name Briar Chemicals. Terms were not disclosed.
“Chemicals have become a major focus for us. With our subsidiaries, we are already seeing very positive results, and we believe there is great potential in pharmaceutical and plant protection chemistry,” said Dr Dirk Markus, CEO of Aurelius. The firm claims to have been able to “substantially improve operating results by introducing new products and moving into new markets” in the past two years.
Briar Chemicals, which manufactures and formulates crop protection products for the global market and speciality industrial chemicals, will focus on extending its product portfolio and expanding contract production for third party customers. The first investments will be into a wastewater treatment plant and a multi-production facility; these will, according to Aurelius, assure the long-term viability of the company and 250 jobs there.
For Bayer CropScience, this was described as part of its global consolidation of crop protection product manufacturing. However, Bayer has also confirmed that it will “continue to work closely with Briar Chemicals in the coming years”, so that capacity utilisation will remain at a high level.
Based in Munich and London and headed by Markus and Gert Purkert, who are also the majority shareholders, Aurelius has portfolio companies in many European countries, plus China and Malaysia, generating revenues of over €1 billion. It says that its focus is on “the acquisition of companies with development potential through operational engagement”.
Isochem, which was formerly part of the state-owned Groupe SNPE, is one of the world’s leading producers, with manufacturing sites and R&D in France and Hungary, plus offices in the UK and Germany. CalaChem is based at a single site in Grangemouth, Scotland, and was formerly part of ICI, then Avecia before passing through the hands of Finland’s KemFine. The two operate independently of each other, as will Briar Chemicals.
Other Aurelius subsidiaries include, among others: Blaupunkt, the German maker of car radios and hi-fi systems; Berentzen, a German premium beverages maker; IT services provider Getronics; Hanse Yachts, which produces sailing and motor yachts; Secop, a maker of hermetic compressors; Peter Deilmann, a shipping company that owns the MS Deutschland cruise liner; Sit-up, which operates three digital home shopping TV channels in the UK; and, LD Didactic, a manufacturer of science and engineering equipment.