Azelis acquires the UK’s leading specialist supplier of raw materials and ingredients to pharmaceuticals

Azelis, the leading pan-European specialty chemicals distributor, Tuesday announced it has acquired S&D Group Limited, a UK leading specialist supplier of raw materials and ingredients to the pharmaceutical, food, personal care and performance chemicals industries.

Azelis said the acquisition of S&D Group is strategically important as it will significantly strengthen the Azelis Life Science business (Pharma, Food & Health and Personal Care), both in terms of portfolio coverage as well as geographic spread.

Joris Coppye, Group Chief Executive Officer of Azelis said the acquisition is one of the biggest in the entire Azelis history and is of significant strategic importance. S&D will give Azelis a leading position in Personal Care and Pharma in the CEE region, including the CIS countries, said Coppye. The investment is for an undisclosed amount.

Coppye further said the investment will support the consolidation of Azelis Indian distribution business (mainly Chemicals and Plastic Polymers) with the addition of Life Science activities. In China, the firm will be able to complement its existing sourcing operations with distribution activities. Additionally, the S&D investment is an important step change towards globalization through the access to new markets such as Canada, Australia, Middle East and Africa, said Coppye.

Commenting on the acquisition, Peter Straus, co-founder and owner of the S&D Group said Azelis is a company with a dynamic reputation in the market and is therefore the best platform to expand the operations of S&D in specialty chemical distribution. Once the amalgamation has been completed, the joint organizations will ensure a strategic position across Europe, create synergies and expand their distribution network for the benefit of suppliers and customers, he said.

Straus added that the investment marks a major step in the growth of S&D. The retained businesses will continue to operate and expand under their current management. However, excluded from the acquisition are those S&D companies involved in the pharmaceutical finished dosage (S&D Pharma), chemical synthesis and laboratory supply markets (Chemgo), as well as part of its personal care actives business  (S&D Chesham GmbH and ProTec Ingredia), - these entities will retain their original ownership.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to cartel clearance and is expected to close within the first quarter. Belgium-based Azelis employs 1,100 people at 37 facilities in 27 countries across Europe, India and China.

22 Feb 2011