PE-backed Novacap buys majority stake in China-based Yangzi

Novacap, which is backed by AXA Private Equity, has purchased a majority stake in Yangzi. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in China, Yangzi is a chemical company.


Novacap acquires a controlling stake in Chinese company Yangzi with the support of AXA Private Equity
Paris, September 16, 2013. AXA Private Equity, the leading European diversified private equity firm, announces today that chemicals group Novacap, of which it is the key shareholder, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Taixing Yangzi Pharm Chemical (“Yangzi”).
Yangzi is located in Taixing Economic Development Zone, near Shanghai, and is one of the leading Chinese producers of Para-Amino-Phenol (“PAP”), a chemical intermediate mainly used for the production of paracetamol. During 2010 and 2011, Yangzi successfully updated its technology from iron reduction to catalytic hydrogenation and its products are widely recognized in the pharmaceutical industry as the benchmark in terms of quality and purity. In 2012, Yangzi employed 375 employees and recorded €71 million of sales.
After its acquisition of Novacyl from Rhodia in November 2011, the Yangzi transaction represents the next step in Novacap’s strategy to develop its health and pharmaceutical activities. It also significantly increases the footprint of the group outside Europe, with around 50% of employees now located in Asia.
With this new acquisition, the Novacap group’s annual total turnover climbs to €710 million, an increase of 50% in less than three years. AXA Private Equity acquired a majority stake in Novacap from Bain Capital in January 2011.
“Yangzi is a high quality company in a growing niche market and it already has a longstanding business relationship with Novacyl”, said Pierre Luzeau, CEO of Novacap. “This acquisition is a decisive strategic move that boosts our paracetamol business while increasing the potential for the combined group’s future growth.”
“This operation represents a great opportunity for Yangzi, as Novacap will provide the company with additional resources to accelerate its development in new geographies and new applications, as well as to pursue its continuous research of best-in-class industrial processes”, commented Zhou Zhao Ming, Chairman of Yangzi.
“Since Novacap’s acquisition of Novacyl in November 2011, Yangzi has been on our top-priority acquisition list. This transaction is another example of how AXA Private Equity supports its portfolio companies in ambitious international projects”, said Thibault Basquin, Managing Director at AXA Private Equity.
Novacap is a leading producer of essential chemicals for everyday use. The group enjoys a leading position in its markets and is organised around four independent business units : Novacarb, Novapex, Novacid and Novacyl. Novacarb produces inorganic chemical products and sells mainly soda ash, sodium bicarbonate and sodium sulphate. Novapex produces organic chemical products and sells mainly phenol, oxygenated solvents (such as isopropyl alcohol IPA) and derivatives. Novacid distributes hydrochloric acid and produces calcium chloride as well as ferric chloride through a joint venture with Feralco. Novacyl produces and markets salicylic acid, aspirin, methyl salicylate and acetaminophen. Yangzi produces and sells Para-Amino-Phenol. Novacap operated nine industrial units located in La Madeleine and Pagny-sur-Meuse (Nancy-France), Roussillon and Saint-Fons (Lyon-France), Grand-Serre and Pont-de-Claix (Grenoble-France), Wuxi and Taixing (China) and Bangpoo (Thailand) and employed ca. 1,230 employees. Novacap is headquartered in Lyon (France).
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