Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, May 12, 1999 Published at 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK

Business: The Company File

Jobs saved in chemicals deal

The job losses would have been a bitter pill to swallow

The jobs of thousands of chemicals workers around the world have been secured following a billion pound takeover deal.

It means several hundred jobs in Scotland are safe too after the merger of two huge pharmaceutical businesses, Astra and Zeneca.

The newly formed AstraZeneca has sold its speciality chemicals business to a buy-out consortium backed by two venture capitalist groups, Cinven and Investcorp, for £1.3bn.

All the group's 4,700 management and employees are transferring to the new business.

Not down in the mouth

When Zeneca joined forces with the Swedish drugs company Astra, there were fears that hundreds of jobs could go at Grangemouth, Scotland, where the group manufacturers colours and pigments, in particular inks for computer printers.

Overall the group employs 2,000 people in the UK, based mainly at plants in Grangemouth, Huddersfield in Yorkshire, Billingham on Teesside and at the head office at Blackley, near Manchester.

However, following what will be the largest ever buy out in the chemicals sector a new £3.5m DNA medicine facility will now be built in Grangemouth. The remaining jobs around the world also look safe.

Jobs are safe

Jeremy Scudamore, currently chief executive of Zeneca Specialties, will become chief executive of the new company, which has yet to be given a name.

Mr Scudamore said the buy-out posed no threat to jobs in the company.

AstraZeneca has been keen to dispose of the business as it tries to integrate the two companies.

Shares in AstraZeneca rose 61p to £23.98 after the news.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

29 Mar 99 | The Company File
Glaxo back on merger trail?

17 Feb 99 | The Company File
Zeneca earnings dip

09 Dec 98 | The Company File
Zeneca and Astra merge to form drug giant

09 Dec 98 | The Company File
Europe's giant drug merger explained

Internet Links


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles