AMSTERDAM, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Dutch food and chemicals group DSM said on Tuesday it was spinning off its pharmaceuticals division in a $2.6 billion deal with private equity firm JLL.
The new company will develop and manufacture drugs - ranging from active ingredients to drug dosages - under contract for the pharmaceutical industry and is expected to have annual sales of about $2 billion, DSM and JLL said in a statement.
DSM has been seeking a partner to help it expand its pharma business, which it considers too small to expand on its own, particularly in Asia.
"With this partnership DSM has made a key step in the strategic transformation of its Pharma activities into partnerships whilst creating maximal value for all stakeholders," Feike Sijbesma, DSM's chief executive, said.
"This is for DSM Pharmaceutical Products the perfect way to accelerate growth and for DSM to maximise value for this business."
DSM shifted strategy in 2010 and has spent more than 2.2 billion euros on acquisitions as it moved away from lower-margin bulk chemicals to focus on less cyclical businesses including food ingredients and high-end plastics.
The firm is now the world's leading vitamin maker, following the acquisitions of U.S. food ingredients companies Martek and Fortitech.
It also bought U.S. medical device-maker Kensey Nash Corp, Ocean Nutrition Canada, the world's biggest producer of a fish oil extract believed to boost brain power, and Brazilian animal nutrition firm Tortuga, which sells nutritional supplements for chickens, swine and cattle.