Equity firm purchases Reilly and Velsicol

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chemistry, Pharmaceutical drug, Active ingredient

Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Reilly
Industries for €209 million and Velsicol Chemical for an
undisclosed fee. The purchases continue a rich vein of activity for
the private equity firm, which now hold a significant interest in
the pharmaceutical sector.

This month, Arsenal has also acquired Priority Air Express, a major supplier of sample transportation services to the US pharmaceuticals industry with sales of over €125 million/year.

In addition, Arsenal bought Rutherford Chemicals, a niche fine and speciality chemicals supplier, for €46 million from Cambrex in November 2003.

Other buys include Scientific Protein Laboratories, a maker of APIs, Sermatech International and, Interdynamics, a packager of chemicals for the automotive aftermarket.

Arsenal's 67 per cent stake in Reilly Industries means that they now hold a majority stake in Reilly, the world's largest manufacturer of pyridine and derivatives, which are used in pharmaceuticals, shampoos and other applications.

In the last five years the company has fallen on hard times and in order to maintain profitability it has cut both manufacturing and research jobs.

It has also been forced to spend heavily to clean up organic contaminants in the soil and treat groundwater at the main Indianapolis site.

Reilly has just initiated a plan of widening its pyridine and picoline production at its US site by increasing downstream processing capabilities and reducing energy costs. It will also set to double capacity at its Nantong facility in China, by 2006.

Arsenal's other interest, Velsicol Chemicals, produces benzophenone technical flake, which is used as a pharmaceutical intermediate and a photoinitiator in the fine chemicals field.

Related topics: Downstream Processing

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