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|| Chinese Lianhe Technology acquired UK firm in a $128 million deal

chinese-uk-Lianhetech.jpgChinese firm Lianhe Technology has acquired UK company Fine Industries Group in a deal that values it at nearly $128 million.

With around 220 employees and annual revenues of around $60 million, the Fine Industries Group delivers products and solutions to the life sciences and chemical industry. China's Lianhetech has established 7 chemical production sites, 2 machinery production sites and 2 R&D centers in China since 1985.

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More details follows

In a move to get closer to its customers and markets in Crop Protection, Pharma and Performance Chemicals, and to expand its portfolio of product development & manufacturing services and solutions, China based life sciences company Lianhe Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. ("Lianhetech") has agreed to acquire Fine Industries Ltd., based in Middlesbrough, UK, including its subsidiaries Fine Organics Ltd. and Fine Environmental Services Ltd. ("Fine Industries Group") from NorthEdge Capital, based in Manchester, UK, and management.

With around 220 employees, the Fine Industries Group is a well established European contract development & manufacturing company delivering high quality products and solutions to the life sciences and chemical industry. It operates a FDA inspected and approved site at Seal Sands, Middlesbrough in the UK. The Fine Industries Group develops and manufactures complex intermediates and actives for its agrochemical and pharma clients, as well as a broad portfolio of solutions for the specialty chemicals market. Fine Industries Group's annual revenues exceed $60 million.

Lianhetech's Board Chairwoman & President Ms Maggie Wang said the acquisition provides the geographic presence, capability and expertise needed to provide better services and solutions and leveraging Lianhetech's state-of-the-art technologies for our customers worldwide. "We expect Fine Industries Group's customer base, expertise and capabilities to strengthen our organization's offerings as a global solution provider", she commented.

The acquisition is subject to the usual regulatory approval conditions. (c) Company Press Release.

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PwC's North East Corporate Finance team have acted as lead advisor to the shareholders on the agreed sale of chemicals' manufacturer Fine Industries Limited, owned by NorthEdge Capital ("NorthEdge") and management, to Chinese listed chemical and life sciences company Lianhe Technology Limited ("Lianhetech").

Fine Industries Group is a leading European contract manufacturer of products and solutions used in the chemical and life sciences industries, and delivered turnover of £52m and EBITDA of £10m in the year to September 2016. It operates an FDA inspected and approved manufacturing site at Seal Sands, Middlesbrough. The company employs approximately 220 staff, developing and manufacturing high quality chemicals for agrochemical, pharma and other clients across the globe.

Fine Industries will become Lianhetech's European base, allowing the organisation to operate in closer proximity to its customers and markets in Crop Protection, Pharma and Performance Chemicals. The transaction also extends the business' portfolio of product development services and manufacturing solutions.

Paul Mankin and Gareth Marshall led the deal with support from Alex Marsh and Stuart Dykes. The Corporate Finance team were also supported by the firm's SPA and tax teams. PwC Corporate Finance have worked with the business since advising the previous vendors when NorthEdge invested in 2013, and the company has been an audit client of the firm for a number of years.

The transaction has now formally exchanged and is anticipated to complete in the coming months subject to closing and approval conditions.

Paul Mankin Corporate Finance Partner at PwC said;

"The PwC Corporate Finance team have worked closely with NorthEdge Capital and the company's management team since the original acquisition was completed in 2013. We are delighted to have been able to support the business on its growth journey over this period and this transaction will provide an exciting platform for further growth, and inward investment from overseas purchasers such as this is positive for the region."

Ray Stenton, Partner at NorthEdge Capital, said:

"Fine Industries is a high quality UK based chemical research and manufacturing company with a highly skilled workforce. The business sells globally, it is an exceptionally well invested asset and a highly trusted partner by its customer base. These qualities along with the strength of the management team, make this an ideal platform for Lianhetech's European expansion plans. As Lianhetech's first investment outside of China, this represents a significant strategic development and sign of their future ambition. PwC's advice and support since we acquired the business in 2013 and throughout this transaction has been first class, allowing us to execute the transaction quickly, and protect value throughout a rigorous due diligence process."

Chris Gowland, CEO at Fine Industries, said:

"Becoming part of the Lianhetech team is a very exciting opportunity for Fine Industries and we feel privileged that they have selected our business to be the platform for their European expansion strategy. The brand and reputation of both Lianhetech and Fine Industries are well known and respected in the chemical manufacturing industry and I expect the union of the companies to further strengthen our position in the global market. PwC's consistently high standards and expert deal execution throughout the process ensured we were able navigate through a very tight timetable, and ultimately deliver an exceptional result for all of the shareholders." (c) Company Press Release.



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