TowerBrook acquires Clariant unit

The London and New York-based private equity firm has acquired Clariant’s pharmaceuticals fine chemicals business for €70m.

The transatlantic private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners has acquired the pharmaceuticals fine chemicals business of global specialty chemicals company Clariant for CHF110 million (€70 million; $88 million).

The Swiss-based pharmaceutical fine chemicals division manufactures building blocks, regulatory starting materials, intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients for the generic pharmaceutical industry.

The Clariant transaction will be not TowerBrook’s first investment in the specialty chemicals industry in Europe. The firm acquired PolymerLatex, Europe’s third-largest latex producer, serving the paper, carpet and moulded foam markets, in 2003 for €235 million when it was still the private equity arm of Soros Fund Management. Soros Private Equity spun out of currency speculator George Soros’ alternative asset vehicle in March of the same year.

TowerBrook then refinanced PolymerLatex in a €215 million transaction in June 2005.

TowerBrook recently strengthened its European operations with the hire of Winston Ginsberg, the former co-founder of UK venture capital technology investor Elwin Capital Partners, in its London office. The London office is headed up by co-CEO Ramez Sousou and comprises 11 investment professionals.