UK independent Pentagon Chemicals has made its first major acquisition since spinning out of parent Dow Chemical in a management buyout in 2002, in a move which bolsters its product range and contract manufacturing capacity.
Pentagon has bought the fine chemicals business of US group Great Lakes Chemical. The unit, based in Halebank near Widnes, UK, will be renamed Pentagon Fine Chemicals and sit alongside the firm's Pentagon Chemical Specialties unit, which operates a manufacturing site in Cumbria.
However, Great Lakes facility in Holywel in the UK, which handles the majority of its pharmaceutical intermediate activities, is not included in the deal. Great Lakes first unveiled plans to get out of the fine chemicals business - which represents a tiny proportion of its total turnover - in 2002.
Pentagon said in a statement that the strategic rationale behind this acquisition is to extend its contract manufacturing and add to its product range, which currently includes benzoic acid salts and esters, biocides and surfactants, maleic anhydride derivatives and Grignard reagents.
Last year, Great Lakes invested $8 million (€6.7m) to upgrade its Holywel facility in a move which could make the site more attractive to a potential buyer.