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Oxford Molecular on suitors’ radar

Director Allan Marchington is thought to be among suitors for the biotech company's chemistry division.

Oxford Molecular, the listed UK biotech company, has been approached by a number of suitors keen to buy its chemistry division, according to the Financial Times.

Among them is Allan Marchington, an executive director of Oxford Molecular and the brother of the company's chief executive, Tony Marchington. The newspaper said Allan Marchington was thought to be working on a buyout of the chemistry business – which conducts chemical tests for pharma companies and last year generated 42 per cent of Oxford Molecular's revenues.

In 1997, Marchington sold the division to Oxford for a consideration of £12m in a transaction which had sparked some criticism from observers who pointed to the relationship between the brothers.

The suitors' interest in Oxford comes after a profit warning announced in February. Yesterday the company's share price closed at 26p, down 42p from last year's high.