Siegfried completes $302M deal for BASF API plants

Swiss contract manufacturer Siegfried Holding has fattened up its API manufacturing capabilities, having completed a deal to buy three production operations in Europe from BASF. The exchange, the German chemical giant says, allows it to narrow its focus on higher-margin pharma products.

The companies said Thursday that they had completed their €270 million ($302.3 million) deal in which Siegfried bought BASF's ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and caffeine API businesses, as well as BASF's custom drug manufacturing operation. With the deal, Siegfried picked up plants in Minden, Germany; Evionnaz, Switzerland; and Saint-Vulbas, France, that employ more than 800.

"Through this acquisition, Siegfried will reach the critical size to play a leading role in the supplier market as a recognized partner for the pharmaceutical industry," Siegfried CEO Rudolf Hanko said in a statement The company said the three sites had sales of about $287.5 million last year.

BASF explained today that while the custom synthesis business has been transferred in its entirety to Siegfried, it will handle sales and distribution of the APIs for the Swiss company through late 2016.

When the two announced the deal in May, BASF said it intended to focus on its polyethylenglycol (PEG), ibuprofen and omega-3 business. While it has a market-leading position with its PEG operations, two years ago it made a play in the ultrapure omega-3 arena that has yet to pan out. It invested $1 billion to buy Pronova BioPharma in Norway. It also spent another €22m ($29.2 million) to expand a plant in Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, west Scotland, that it acquired from Equataq but it noted in an earnings report this year that its fish oil business has struggled.

- here's the Siegfried release
- here's the BASF release