AN award-winning chemical company in Huddersfield has been sold in a £13m-plus deal.
James Robinson, which won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2006, has been bought by an Indian rival.
The company, which traces its roots to 1840, has been acquired from Essex-based parent group Yule Catto by Vivimed Labs, based in Hyderabad. The sale is conditional on Vivimed getting shareholder approval, which is expected in mid-April.
Yule Catto said the management team would remain in place under managing director Dr Richard Smith following the completion of the deal.
James Robinson has its headquarters at Leeds Road, where it has its sales, marketing and research teams and occupies part of the site alongside separate chemical firm Syngenta.
The company was previously based at a prominent corner site at the junction of Leeds Road and Hillhouse Lane for many years before moving to its current premises in April last year.
Its former site is now being cleared to make way for a new development to include a hotel, shops and a pub.
The deal also includes James Robinson’s European operation, based in Dieburg, Germany.
Yule Catto will also dispose of its stake in joint venture James Robinson India, based in Hyderabad, to its joint venture partner when the sale to Vivimed is completed.
James Robinson develops, manufactures and supplies photographic dyes, hair dyes, fluorescent dyes and dyes used for spectacle lenses. In 2006, the company won the Queen’s Award for developing patented dyes used in ophthalmic lenses which react to changes in light levels.
Latest figures show that the company has assets totalling £3m and made operating profits of £820,000 on sales totalling £17.8m in the year to December, 2006.
Yule Catto said the proceeds of the sale would be used to reduce its borrowings.
The group’s chief executive, Adrian Whitfield, said the sale was “in line with Yule Catto’s corporate strategy of delivering improved shareholder value”.
James Robinson was privately owned until the 1970s when it was bought by Hickson International. In 1987, it became part of Holliday Chemical Holdings before being acquired by Yule Catto in 1998 as part of its takeover of HCH.
Vivimed is a global name in the development and manufacture of health and personal care products – ranging from acne treatments, anti-wrinkle cream, sunscreen and hair conditioner to anti-fungal gel and drugs for treating cancer and arthritis. It employs 450 people at six sites in India and distributes throughout Europe, North America and Asia.