In a move designed to focus its attention on pharmaceuticals, Merck KGaA has sold its worldwide electronic chemicals business to BASF AG (Ludwigshafen, Germany). The transaction, subject to antitrust approval, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year. The sale includes Merck Electronic Chemicals management, technology and production facilities in Asia and Europe.
Professor Thomas Schreckenbach, Merck's executive board member responsible for chemicals, says the transaction "will allow Merck to focus its resources on highly innovative chemicals, such as liquid crystals, pigments, and specialty reagents." Merck's electronic chemicals business has supplied the semiconductor industry with a range of ultra-pure process chemicals and has offered chip manufacturers a variety of analysis-related services.
To help ensure a smooth transition, Merck and BASF plan to jointly manage the electronic chemicals business from its Taiwan production and distribution center, under BASF leadership, until no later than the end of this year.