DUTCH pharmaceuticals company DSM yesterday allayed fears over the future of its Ayrshire plant after confirming it is in talks about acquiring a Chinese vitamins producer.
Royal DSM, the last remaining producer of vitamin C in the western world, told the stock market that it is in exclusive discussions with Aland Nutraceutical Holding that may or may not result in the acquisition of the company which accounts for about a fifth of China’s production of the nutrient.
Scotland on Sunday revealed last weekend that talks were taking place, raising concerns about the company’s plant in Dalry, where it employs 330 staff. DSM concentrated its production of vitamin C in Scotland in 2005 after pulling out of New Jersey in the US to cut costs. It acquired the Ayrshire site, where vitamins have been produced for 50 years, from Swiss group Roche in 2003.
Concerns were expressed around the plant that it may divert production to China in a further attempt to cut costs. Analysts at Citi said the company had been hit by weakening demand.
However, in its statement yesterday, the firm said: “If successful, this relatively small acquisition would allow DSM to further strengthen its position in vitamin C” and that it would “add to its position in the world’s largest vitamin measured by volume”.
Aland would also improve DSM’s global footprint in vitamins “as it adds to DSM’s existing vitamin C capacity in Dalry to which the company remains fully committed.”
Aland was founded in 1990 and has a production facility in the Jiangsu Province in China.
DSM’s 24,500 employees deliver annual net sales of around €10 billion (£8.2bn). The company is listed on NYSE Euronext.