|Chempure acquired by Ascendis Health|
|Friday, 17 August 2012|
Chempure, the Pretoria-based supplier of specialty chemicals and ingredients to the food, health and pharmaceuticals industries, has been bought by Ascendis Health. The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but Chempure is the fourth transaction in a R500m deal splurge by Ascendis, controlled by private equity specialists Coast2Coast, in the past year, reports the Financial Mail.
Ascendis CEO Karsten Wellner says Chempure will bolster the company's "human" health offering, which is currently smaller than its operations in "plant" and "animal" health. Ascendis holds well-known plant health brands like Efekto.
Wellner says Ascendis's African footprint through its Efekto and Avima divisions opens new distribution channels for Chempure to 20 countries.
Chempure's CEO is Richard Crouse, the former MTN executive responsible for the cellular services company's Nigeria rollout. Chempure represents several world leaders in their respective fields: DSM Nutritional Products, Draco Natural Products, Plantapharm, Virginia Dare Flavours, Purac, Solae and Hilmar Ingredients.
Wellner says the group has started negotiations for further acquisitions in the medical devices, personal care and nutritional sectors. "Our pipeline for deals has a value north of R1,5bn."
He says Ascendis looks for businesses with defensive qualities. "We are not turnaround specialists. We look at business with good brands, competitive advantage and strong cash flows; some have long track records."
Ascendis's annual turnover is over R700m but this could grow rapidly in the months ahead as potential acquisition targets generate revenues between R100m and R400m.
Wellner confirms Ascendis will be seeking a JSE main board listing next year and issuing a corporate bond. Health-care counters, traditionally considered defensive stocks in volatile markets, have enjoyed strong support on the JSE in recent years based on the successes of Aspen, Cipla and Litha.
Source: Financial Mail