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Rousselot buys Eastman Gelatine Corp in bid for pharma growth

By Natalie Morrison , 09-Jan-2012
Last updated on 09-Jan-2012 at 11:03 GMT

Rousselot says its acquisition of Eastman Kodak’s Gel Corporation will boost its gelatine production capacity and help it meet soaring drug industry demand.

Under the deal Rousselot – the Vion Food Group’s France-headquartered gelatine and collagen production unit – will take charge of a 575,000 square feet facility in Peabody, US, which produces 5500 tonnes of gelatine a year.

Caroline Brochard-Garnier, communication manager of Rousselot, told in-PharmaTechnologist: Rousselot was already the leading producer of gelatine worldwide and, more specifically, the leading producer of pharmaceutical gelatine. The acquisition reinforces again this leading position.

“The deal enlarges Rousselot production capacity. This is very important today as the demand for pharmaceutical gelatine is very high.”

She added that while drugmakers in established markets will remain Rousselot’s core focus, potential customers in emerging markets are also part of the firm’s growth plans, specifically in Asia where the gelatine trade is booming.

The deal is expected to be closed within the next 30 days. Further terms were not disclosed.

Why sell?

In recent years Eastman Kodak has focused on producing gelatine for the pharmaceutical sector rather than the photographic film market, which has been in decline since the advent of digital cameras and processing techniques.

However, the firm insists the divestiture of Gel Corp is not due to related to the unit’s performance with Brad Kruchten, Eastman Kodak senior VP, describing Eastman Gel as being “well-positioned within the industry.”

Instead, the firm says the transaction is part of its strategy to focus on its core activities – Eastman Kodak’s transformation into a digital company.

Chris Veronda, manager of corporate communications for Eastman Kodak, told in-PharmaTechnologist: “We had indicated last year that we are selling non-core assets to focus on our digital growth initiatives. Eastman Gelatine has built a strong business in supplying industries such as food, nutrition and pharmaceuticals outside the photographic business.”

He added: “It will continue as a supplier to Kodak for photographic needs, as a supply agreement is included in the sale.”

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