South Korea’s Songwon to buy specialty chemical business of SeQuent Scientific

Songwon Industrial Group, a South Korea-based supplier of antioxidants for plastics, has entered into an agreement to buy the specialty chemical division of Bangalore-based integrated pharmaceutical company SeQuent Scientific Limited, as per a stock market disclosure. However, the financial details of the transaction are not disclosed.

The acquisition includes SeQuent's polymer stabiliser business and production site in Panoli, Gujarat, together with the local R&D team. The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014, is subject to customary closing conditions.

"The local manufacturing presence will support Songwon's ambition to build a leading position in India while serving the specific needs of the Indian market. The production site in Panoli gives Songwon access to a state of the art manufacturing facility to produce high value-added polymer stabilisers such as Songnox PEPQ and other specialty chemicals," Jongho Park, CEO and chairman of Songwon, said in the statement.

The proceeds from the division sale will be used to cut down debt and provide growth capital to SeQuent, which has presence in various pharmaceutical segments, including APIs, animal health, analytical services, CRAMS and speciality chemicals. SeQuent is one of the world's largest producers of anthelmintics, a drug used in treating infections caused by parasitic worms, and a stronger player in the veterinary API business.

"The specialty chemicals business, while profitable, had become non-core in SeQuent's stated vision to become a leading player in global veterinary business," Manish Gupta, CEO of SeQuent Scientific, said in the statement.

In August 2013, Agnus Capital, a private investment arm of the promoters of public listed drug maker Strides Arcolab, invested $2.86 million to pick 6.21 per cent stake in SeQuent. Last July, Shasun Pharma and SeQuent signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture firm, of which 73 per cent would be owned by SeQuent and 27 per cent to be held by Shasun, to develop, manufacture and sell veterinary products, including APIs and formulations, in the global market.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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