British speciality chemicals firm agree £65m takeover of Danish pharma business

London-listed Croda International is acquiring Biosector, a company specialising in manufacturing adjuvants, which are used to improve the efficacy of vaccines.

Yorkshire chemicals company Croda International were originally founded by a a Mr Crowe and Mr Dawe in 1925 and develop products for multiple sectors including construction, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
Croda International was originally founded in 1925 and develop products for multiple sectors including construction, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

The Yorkshire-based group has agreed with Brenntag Nordic to acquire its subsidiary Brenntag Biosector, which focuses on producing and developing vaccine adjuvants in both human and veterinary vaccines.

The Danish company was founded in 1939 and operates from a manufacturing facility in the town of Frederikssund, Denmark. Biosector’s portfolio includes mineral-based adjuvants, saponins, and oil-based adjuvants.

Steve Foots, chief executive of Croda, commented: “Biosector is a rare asset, in a high-value, fast-growing sector of the global pharmaceutical market. With an experienced high-quality team, Biosector brings world-class protected technologies and industry-leading manufacturing facilities.

“Furthermore, the strong cultural alignment between Biosector and Croda enhances our highly technical-based sales approach and emphasis on value over volume. The opportunity to quickly build upon Biosector’s impressive track record to date is enormously exciting and we look forward to welcoming the team to Croda.”

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Once finalised, Biosector will reportedly be integrated into Croda’s healthcare business within the life sciences sector. It’s believed that Biosector will continue to be led by its existing management team.

Adjuvants are immunological agents used in human and veterinary vaccines to increase their efficacy. Liquid paraffin and Freund’s complete adjuvant are notable examples of adjuvants. Liquid paraffin is commonly used as a laxative, while Freund’s complete adjuvant can prevent juvenile-onset diabetes.

Croda is a London-listed company based in Yorkshire. It was founded 14 years before Biosector by an entrepreneur and a chemist. Initially, the business refined wool grease into lanolin. Now, it manufactures products for multiple sectors including electronics, pharmaceuticals, construction and textiles.

In 2014, the company reached a milestone when it celebrated 50 years as a public company. It was the only chemical company remaining on the UK stock market from the 32 listed in 1964. On its website, Croda says there is only one word to sum up its 50 years as a public company; ‘Innovation.’


Reporting by Harry Wise