NI’s Almac buys Arran Chemicals

Multi-million pound deal gives firm all-Ireland reach

By Francess McDonnell

Almac, the Northern Ireland pharmaceutical services group, on Tuesday announced it has expanded its operations across the island with a multi-million pound acquisition of the privately owned Athlone-based company Arran Chemicals.

The Craigavon headquartered group has not disclosed financial details of the deal which will give it 100 per cent control of the Athlone company which currently employs 57 people.

Almac said it intends to invest in the facility to “enhance its operational standards” and the Athlone site will “serve as an extension and complement to existing capacity”.


The acquisition will bring the total workforce at Almac, which is owned by a charitable trust established by its former founder Sir Allen McClay, to 4,000 across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Almac said the one of the factors behind the takeover was increasing demand for the organic chemical manufacturing service it provides from its Craigavon headquarters.

The group, which encompasses seven divisions, specialises in contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing and works closely with leading global companies and universities.

Dr Stephen Barr, managing director, Almac Sciences said the Athlone takeover would strengthen the group’s business model and represents a new chapter for the organisation.

“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. As a result we will be much better positioned to address our global clients’ growing demands for this type of high quality, integrated and efficient service,” he added.

Previously Arran Chemicals’s chief focus has been the manufacture of products for the pharmaceutical, flavour and fragrance and personal care industries.

It already has an existing business relationship with Almac having worked together on a number of projects over the last five years.

Anthony Owens, managing director, Arran Chemical Company, has welcomed the deal and said he is looking forward to merging its “expertise and experience” with Almac’s.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business