Schweizerhall sells chemical business to Brenntag and focuses on pharma

Schweizerhall Holding has sold all the shares of Schweizerhall Chemie to chemical distributor Brenntag for CHF93m in cash. Divestiture of this chemical activity is another step in Schweizerhall's strategy to reposition itself as a pharmaceuticals company.

Schweizerhall Holding has sold all the shares of Schweizerhall Chemie to chemical distributor Brenntag for CHF93m in cash. Divestiture of this chemical activity is another step in Schweizerhall's strategy to reposition itself as a pharmaceuticals company.

Brenntag, based in Muelheim (Ruhr), Germany, plans to grow Schweizerhall Chemie and will continue to operate the business as a Swiss company under the established Schweizerhall brand. It will keep on the existing management team under the leadership of ceo Ivan Vollenweider. It plans to expand Schweizerhall's presence in Basle and maintain the other Swiss facilities in Avenches and Lohn/Baetterkinden. Land and buildings at the fourth Swiss site in Flawil were previously sold to a local industrial company.

The transaction, subject to antitrust clearance, is expected to be finalised during the second quarter of 2006.

The Schweizerhall group, meanwhile, will use the funds obtained to finance the expansion of its activities in generics, and to fuel the r&d pipeline of Novosis AG. It will also settle the final payment for the acquisition of Novosis due in 2008 and reduce its debt. Schweizerhall expects an extraordinary profit contribution in 2006 of approximately CHF28m.

One of the company's current projects is the direct market entry of Cimex Generics, which will directly supply the Swiss market with a range of generics starting in the autumn of 2006.

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