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Article / Jan 01, 2007

The survival of the fittest. Where have great European brands gone?

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, January 2007

At the turn of the century, chemical giants spent about $3 billion in two years buying up pharmaceutical fine chemical specialists. This was part of a wider restructuring that added up to $14 billion of M&A activity between 1998–2000 in fine chemicals. Certainly in the last decade there have been three major waves of restructuring:

  • Pharma giants increasing their market share through mergers while shedding chemical operations.
  • The emergence of “new”chemical companies such as Avecia, Ciba, Clariant, Degussa, Rhodia and Solutia.
  • Traditional companies radically restructuring or simply disappearing.

Leading consultants and financial analysts succeeded in convincing these companies that pharmaceutical fine chemicals would be a high growth, high margin, noncyclical sector with synergies with their existing businesses. Quel désastre.


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