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Wychem announces French buyout

Thursday, 6th December 2012.

One of the Haverhill area's long-standing independent businesses has become part of a larger continental company.

On November 30, French group Isochem acquired the fine chemicals company Wychem, which operates from the premises on the left of the A143 approaching Highpoint Prison.

Most of the approximately 20 employees of Wychem live in either Haverhill or local villages.

The firm has been in existence since 1968, manufacturing speciality organic chemicals and has managed to keep its head above water despite the difficult world recession that has faced small manufacturing firms in particular, according to works manager Dr Neil Dickinson.

He said despite its modest size and facilities, Wychem had a particularly loyal workforce and a very low turnover of employees, quite a number having started work straight from school or university and most having worked for the firm for over 20 years.

The majority of products are exported to continental Europe or Japan in particular and are manufactured in the 1 kilogram to small tonnage amounts.

"Products find uses in a wide area, but particularly in connection with the trial and manufacture of new pharmaceutical products by the major pharmaceutical companies," Dr Dickinson said.

"In this connection, two current major products are being used to manufacture drugs for piloting new treatments for diabetes, but we manufacture other products that are used in the electronics and motor industries to name just two more areas.

"We look forward to an interesting and fruitful future as part of the Isochem group where we can benefit each other."

On its website Isochem says Wychem has a company product catalogue that contains over 1,500 references, for which the processes have been developed over the 50 years the company has been in business.

Wychem supplies intermediates in quantities ranging from 1 to 1000 kg to numerous industries, including the pharmaceutical industry.

Isochem, a French company and leader in fine chemicals, manufactures industrial chemicals and conducts custom synthesis for the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and specialty chemicals industries.

The merger offers customers continuity of service and capacities ranging from the kilogram to a hundred metric tons.

Through the acquisition, Isochem has significantly expanded its range of intermediates, particularly aromatic compounds, while Wychem's 'kilolab' unit constitutes an additional resource for the development of Isochem intermediates.

Dr. Björn Schlosser, chairman of Isochem, said: "The synergies between the two companies will rapidly bear fruit - Wychem has an immediate need for enhanced production capacity for certain products for which demand is at the upper limit of capacity.

"Isochem provides the boost in capacity that will enable the customers' increasing needs to be met. Moreover, the merger of the commercial networks will enable us to broaden the scope of our product offer."

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