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Pharmaceutical giant Almac on acquisition trail

By Staff Reporter

Craigavon-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Almac has bought an Irish company in a multi-million pound deal. It is the firm's first acquisition in the Republic.

Almac has bought out Arran Chemicals, a privately-owned company based in Athlone, Co Roscommon.

It employs 57 people, and the move increases Almac's global workforce to more than 4,000.

The companies have been working together on projects for the past five years and Almac says it will invest in the Roscommon plant. Arran Chemicals specialises in making pharmaceuticals, flavoured and fragranced products for the personal care market and other chemical and industrial products.

Dr Stephen Barr, managing director at Almac Sciences, said: "This is a very exciting development. Based on our combined strength, scale and technology, we will be able to offer finished commercial products and partly processed pharmaceutical materials or intermediates using our current world leading biocatalysis technology platform."

Anthony Owens, managing director of Arran Chemical Company, said: "We are very pleased with this significant development which enables us to continue to deliver high quality products to our global customer base in addition to offering a broader range of solutions.

"This move builds on our established presence in the industry and we look forward to merging our expertise and experience with Almac's undoubted success to match the increasing requirements of customers across the whole spectrum of the industry."

Almac was founded by Sir Allen McClay, who created his original company, Galen, in 1968. He died in 2010. The company made profits of £12.6m last year and increased its turnover by 5%. Almac is one of Northern Ireland's leading exporters.

Its headquarters are in Craigavon and it now has operations in the United States, Singapore and Tokyo. Almac provides services to other pharmaceutical firms, as well as developing its own products, mainly in cancer diagnostics.

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