Lonza snaps up American  rival Arch in £750m deal

DRUGS industry supplier Lonza is buying US-based Arch Chemicals for some $1.2bn (£750m), making it the world’s largest player in the multi-billion dollar microbial control market, the groups said.

The move, which boosts Lonza’s life science unit and also helps protect the Swiss group against the impact of the strong Swiss franc, puts Lonza in pole position in an area that plays a key role in the fight against disease-causing bacteria.

Lonza will pay $47.20 per share for Arch Chemicals in cash, a premium of 36.7 per cent to the US group’s average closing price over the last 30 trading days, and the bid has the unanimous backing of Arch Chemical’s board.

Based on the offer price for all the outstanding shares, Arch Chemicals’ enterprise value would be around $1.4bn. Arch Chemicals had sales of around $1.4bn in 2010, the groups said yesterday.