Matthey announced today that it has signed an agreement
to buy the Synetix division of ICI for £260 million
is a global catalyst business which serves a range
of market segments including ammonia, methanol,
fine chemicals, edible oils, oleochemicals, oil
and gas and polymerisation. These activities complement
Johnson Matthey's strong position in precious metal
catalysts for a wide range of markets. The acquisition
represents further progress in Johnson Matthey's
strategy of growing its Catalysts & Chemicals
division both organically and by acquisition.
combination of Johnson Matthey's catalyst businesses
with Synetix will present new opportunities to
exploit the extensive catalyst technology and research
capabilities of both organisations. This will be
particularly valuable in new growth segments such
as Gas to Liquids (GTL) technology for the energy
sector and chiral catalysis for the pharmaceutical
the year to 31st December 2001 Synetix reported
sales of £146 million, EBIT (earnings before
interest and taxes) of £24 million and EBITDA
(earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortisation) of £30 million. Net operating
assets at 31st December 2001 were £109 million.
Synetix employs 800 people and has manufacturing
sites in the UK, Germany and India.
transaction is conditional upon regulatory clearance
in Germany. The sale of those Synetix businesses
which are owned by ICI India Limited is subject
to the approval of ICI India Limited's shareholders.
Matthey will finance this acquisition out of existing
borrowing facilities. Following the acquisition
the group's debt to equity ratio will rise to just
on the transaction Chris Clark, the CEO of Johnson
acquisition of Synetix is a significant step in
growing our highly successful Catalyst & Chemicals
business and represents excellent value. The combination
of Synetix and our existing catalyst businesses
will substantially enhance our market leading position
in the worldwide catalyst industry."