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Feature article - The agchem CDMO opportunity: Maximising India’s share

Amit Ghandi and Amita Parekh, managing directors and partners at BCG, look at the opportunities for Indian CDMOS in the global agrochemical industry

If one were to imagine the ‘ideal’ industry for India’s chemical exports, it would most likely be globally relevant, with customers who outsource a significant percentage of the critical synthesis steps, and have a strong need for innovation and IP protection. agrochemical CDMO  industry ticks all these boxes.

Meghmani Finechem into chlorotoluene

Indian chlor-alkali producer Meghmani Finechem is to spend €21.6 million to expand into the chlorotoluene value chain at its site in Dahej, Gujarat. Due to be commissioned by Q4 2024, this will be the first plant in India to be back-integrated into toluene chlorination, and will produce pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates.

Rossari acquires Tristar too

Flush with funds from its IPO, Indian speciality chemicals manufacturer Rossari is to make its second acquisition of in as many months. Following on from the $57.7 million acquisition of Unitop Chemicals in June, it has agreed to acquire Tristar Intermediates in two tranches of 76% now and 24% in three years’ time. The total enterprise value of the transaction is $16 million. Tristar’s current management will stay on for at least three years.

Oxygen shortage forces stop at Hikal

Indian fine chemical and API firm Hikal has halted production of an unnamed product from its Crop Protection division at Taloja, near Mumbai, due to the current non-availability of industrial oxygen.

The company said that it anticipates an impact on sales of the product in question. It has kept customers informed and will work with them to make up for the shortfall in delivery in the coming quarters. Production will be ramped back up when industrial oxygen is available again.

Azelis buys two in India

Azelis has acquired Spectrum Chemicals and Nortons Exim in India from the Mehta family on undisclosed terms. Both specialise in the distribution of speciality chemicals for home care, road markings, agrochemicals and other applications. Current owner Parindu Mehta will remain at the helm.

Renewable glycols JV in India

Clariant has agreed a strategic partnership to establish a 51-49% joint venture with India Glycols (IGL) in renewable ethylene oxide (EO) derivatives, subject to regulatory approvals. U.S. Bhartia has been designated chairman of the JV, which will employ about 200 people in India.

Carlyle Group invests in Piramal

Via CA Clover Intermediate II Investments, private equity firm the Carlyle Group is to invest about $940 million in fresh equity capital for a 20% stake in Piramal Pharma, the healthcare subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Piramal Enterprises (PEL). This values the business at $2,775 million with an upside component of up to $360 million depending on the company’s performance this financial year.

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