Honeywell said today it will acquire the laboratory research chemicals business of Sigma-Aldrich for about €105 million ($119.3 million).

Based in Seelze, Germany, the business develops and manufactures high-purity inorganic chemicals and solvents, among research chemicals and other materials used in new drug discovery, medical diagnostic testing, and other laboratory applications.

Sigma-Aldrich said in a statement that the sale was intended to fulfill commitments it made to the European Union in order to receive final approval for the $17 billion planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck KGaA.

In a separate statement, Honeywell said the deal will allow it to offer customers a more complete product line by building on its existing portfolio of Burdick & Jackson® high-purity solvents and reagents.

The deal gives Honeywell solvents and inorganics marketed under the Sigma-Aldrich brand; as well as three global chemical brands, with applications that include drug synthesis as well as food, environmental, chemical, and forensic testing:

  • Fluka® chemicals and reagents used for biochemical research and other chemical and pharmaceutical applications;
  • Hydranal® Karl Fischer titration reagents used by laboratories to measure moisture content in liquids and solids;
  • Chromasolv® high-purity solvents for chromatography, a technique used to separate and analyze complex mixtures.

“The acquisition will enable Honeywell to offer a broader line of inorganic chemicals and solvents for demanding applications ranging from pharmaceutical drug discovery to medical diagnostic testing,” Darius Adamczyk, president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, said in a statement.

Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies includes among its units Honeywell Fine Chemicals, into which the acquired business will be integrated.

For more than a century, Honeywell Fine Chemicals has supplied research chemicals and specialty organic and inorganic compounds to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The business maintains laboratories and/or production facilities in Seelze and Muskegon, MI.

Honeywell Fine Chemicals sells its products under the Burdick & Jackson and Riedel-de Haen brands. The products are used in laboratory, consumer and industrial applications that include drug discovery as well as toothpaste, water purification, fortified foodstuffs, polymer synthesis, and metal surface treatment and finishing.

“The combination of Honeywell's manufacturing expertise with the strength of an expanded solvents and inorganics portfolio will enable us to better serve all of our customers in research chemicals,” Adamczyk added.

The acquisition agreement is subject to regulatory review and other customary closing conditions.

Sigma-Aldrich said Merck KGaA will submit the Honeywell agreement to the European Commission, which needs to approve the transaction in order for the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich to be completed. The European Commission provided conditional approval of the mega-deal on June 15.

On September 28, more than 12 months after the acquisition was first announced, Sigma-Aldrich said a closing of its acquisition by Merck KGaA “is now expected within the next two months,” by the end of November.

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