BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Ciba-Geigy AG will pick up vitamin E stabilizer products for plastics as a result of a Nov. 11 deal with F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. Roche Vitamins & Fire Chemicals Division announced the deal at Interplas '96 in Birmingham. Roche will continue to supply vitamin E, while Ciba's Additives for Polymers unit will acquire development and marketing rights to Roche's antioxidants.
``Ciba is a formidable competitor and a world leader in additives,'' said Stuart Laermer, director of Industrial & Agricultural Products for Hoffman-La Roche Inc. in Paramus, N.J. ``What we at Roche didn't have was the name recognition, reputation, technical experience and confidence from [plastics] customers that Ciba has.''
Laermer expects Ciba to expand the vitamin E business ``multifold.'' Terms of the deal, which will become official Dec. 20, were not disclosed. He had no comment on whether any Roche employees will join Ciba.
Roche has marketed the additives mostly to major resin suppliers. Existing Roche grades will remain, but under new Ciba trade names. Ronotec 201, for example, will become Irganox E 201.
Roche pioneered development of vitamin E antioxidants, which have been used primarily in packaging applications, such as polyethylene bottles and films.
``This was a business development project [for Roche] that grew into a business,'' Laermer said. ``We undertook to develop new market segments for vitamins unrelated to nutrition.''
Ciba and Roche are based in Basel, Switzerland.