Engineering News

Breaking up Europe's chemical-pharma hybrids
Tue Feb 7, 2006 3:42 AM ET

FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Dutch chemicals group Akzo Nobel plans to list part of its drugs unit later this year, it said on Tuesday, underlining a trend of European drug-chemical conglomerates breaking up their structures.

Following is a list of some major European chemical-pharma split-ups in recent years:

1993 - British firm ICI separated its drug business into Zeneca, a company that then merged in 1999 with Sweden's Astra to create AstraZeneca.

1995 - Switzerland's Sandoz spun off its chemical business to form Clariant. Sandoz merged the following year with Ciba-Geigy to form Novartis.

1997 - Novartis spun off its chemical business into Ciba Specialty Chemicals.

1999 - Aventis split off its chemical business Rhodia. Aventis was taken over in 2004 by Sanofi-Synthelabo to create Sanofi-Aventis.

1999 - Hoechst separated its chemical unit Celanese. Celanese was acquired by U.S. private investor Blackstone last year and taken public in the United States in 2005.

2000 - Novartis and AstraZeneca combined their agrochemical businesses in a new company called Syngenta.

2000 - German chemical giant BASF agreed to sell its drugs unit, Knoll, to Abbott Laboratories.

2005 - Bayer spun off Lanxess to its shareholders, who got one Lanxess share for every 10 they own in Bayer.

2005 - Altana announced its decision to list its chemicals unit separately.

Feb 2006 - Akzo Nobel said it plans a minority listing of its pharmaceuticals business.

Source: Reuters

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