Novasep acquired from Rockwood by an investor group led by Gilde with management

Gilde Buy Out Partners ("Gilde") and the management of Groupe Novasep are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement with Rockwood Holding, Inc regarding the acquisition of Groupe Novasep, a French leading provider of synthesis and purification solutions to the life science industries.

Novasep is currently owned for 78.6 % by Rockwood and 21.4 % by its management.

Groupe Novasep will be acquired for an enterprise value of € 425 million by a financial investor group led by Gilde and including Banexi Capital Partenaires, and by its management who will own about 28% of the capital. The acquisition is expected to close as soon as the approvals by the relevant competition authorities have been obtained.

Groupe Novasep will continue to operate through two complementary divisions contributing to approximately € 280 million of sales. Novasep Synthesis offers custom synthesis services utilizing niche technologies to produce elaborate molecules for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as producing and marketing proprietary products, typically generics. Novasep Process is a recognized leader in the field of chromatography, with particular strength in continuous processes. It provides turn-key physical purification solutions to industrial biotech, pharmaceutical and the growing bio-pharma industries. Headquartered in Pompey (France), Novasep operates mainly in Europe, with subsidiaries in the United States, China and Japan and 1300 employees working in nine sites.

Roger Marc Nicoud CEO said:

"Rockwood allowed Novasep to grow dramatically in the last two years, and acted as a very responsible and committed partner. When we merged Novasep and Dynamic Synthesis in 2004, our common vision was for our cooperation with Rockwood to be limited in time. Today, it is time for Novasep to go back to more independence, and to continue on its successful growth path. The significant participation of management guarantees a high level of continuity which enables us to follow our strong development. I am very pleased to welcome our new financial partners led by Gilde, and very honoured to keep the duty to drive Novasep towards an exciting future."

Paul Bekx, Managing Director and Partner of Gilde commented:

"We are impressed by the historic achievements of Novasep, centered around its clear leadership position in continuous separation technology and its successful applications in the area of custom synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company has remarkably managed its merger with Dynamic Synthesis and offers exciting development potential in various new areas, such as biopharmaceuticals separation and proprietary synthesis. With the company well positioned for external growth, Gilde together with Banexi Capital Partenaires and the other financial investors is honoured to have received the trust of management to support their strategy."

About Gilde Buy-Out Fund – Sector focused middle market private equity
Gilde Buy-Out Partners is a leading private equity investor with offices in the Benelux, France and Switzerland. It specializes in middle market buy-out investments in Europe, and has particular expertise in creating market leaders within selected industries such as chemicals. In this sector, Gilde is or has been the main owner of Norit, a leading water purification company specialized in process technology and active carbon, CABB, a leading producer of chloro acetyl building blocks, and Thermphos, a supplier of phosphorus based specialty chemicals. Novasep is the fourth investment conducted in 2006 by Gilde Buy Out Fund III, a € 600 million buy out fund closed in 2006, as well as the fourth investment carried in France by Gilde. In total Gilde manages a total volume exceeding EUR 1,5 billion and has invested in more than 200 companies since it was founded in 1982.

List of contacts and advisors

Novasep
Contact:

Jean-Marc Le Rudulier
Tel: +33 (0) 3 83 49 71 46
Fabienne Stein 
Tel: +33 (0) 3 83 49 70 25

Management of Novasep was advised by:
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw:
-Alexis Dargent
Cabinet Gegout & Gutton:
-Philippe Choquet

Gilde
Contact:
Paul Bekx Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 98 05 10
Hubert Lange
Benjamin Barrière

Advisors:
Arthur D Little Enrico Polastro
White & Case François Leloup, Nathalie Nègre
Aforge Finance Damien Bachelot, Bruno Stern
Deloitte Finance Dominique Evrard
URS Geert de Buysscher
TAJ Thomas Perrin
Aon Henk Bijl

Financing Banks:

ING Pierre Chabrelie, Frédéric Messerschmitt

HVB Xavier Weisrock, Martin Cremer

Banexi Capital Partenaires

Contact :
Christine Mariette Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 14 40 54
Anne Robert

Advisors :
Lovells Monique Sentilles-Dupont, Alexis Terray