Solvay, a leading global producer of ingredients of flavour and fragrance, has concluded an equity investment to take a significant minority shareholding in Catàsynth Speciality Chemicals.
This will be the company’s first investment in India in a joint venture. The amount of investment in Phase I by Solvay and the Anthea Group, which has set up Catàsynth, is $40 million. Solvay is a 155-year-old company headquartered in Brussels with around 24,500 employees in 61 countries and net sales of 10.3 billion euros in 2018.
Anthea Aromatics Private, a leading manufacturer of speciality chemicals in India, makes downstream products from key starting intermediate, methylenedioxybenzene (MDB), based on its patented manufacturing processes.
ICICI Ventures’ India Advantage Fund Series 4 is an investor with significant minority shareholding in Anthea Group. "Established in 1991, the Anthea Group include DRT-Anthea Aroma Chemicals Private Ltd, an equal joint venture with DRT (France), Catàsynth Speciality Chemicals and Anthea Aromatics Private Ltd."
The joint venture will leverage Anthea’s production capabilities and reinforce Solvay’s downstream integration into catechol-based products. Solvay is the largest producer of catechol in the world, the key raw material required by Catasynth, and has committed to meeting the raw material requirements of the joint venture. The joint venture between the Anthea Group and Solvay will introduce a number of products over the years and Solvay will market some of these products globally.
India is fast becoming a manufacturing hub for speciality chemicals and the only real alternative to China. Catasynth, based on its patented technology, aims to be the most sustainable producer globally.
When contacted Vincent Paul, founder and chairman of the Anthea Group, confirmed the investment by Solvay and said “we are very happy to be partnered with Solvay in this venture, and we are confident that this joint venture will contribute to the development of the region, the country’s exports, and to the recognition of India as a significant player in the speciality chemicals sector”.
Peter Browning, president of Solvay Aroma Performance GBU, said: “Catasynth, ideally located in India, is reinforcing Solvay’s downstream integration and enables enlarging our product offer. We are committed to supplying our global suppliers with quality and security of supplies.”
Situated in the Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZL), close to Mangalore International Airport and the all-weather New Mangalore Port, the world-class manufacturing facility will benefit from an integrated industrial infrastructure and energy distribution network.