French chemicals company Rhodia is to sell its UK-based brewing and enzymes businesses to US biotech company Genencor International in a bid to strengthen its focus on food additives.
Rhodia Food, which supplies additives to the dairy, desserts, beverages and nutraceuticals sectors, said enzyme production is not a core technology for the unit.
"This transaction will enable Rhodia to further exceed the target announced at the beginning of 2002 to generate a total of €500 million from divestitures," said the company in a statement.
The divestment is part of the current Rhodia strategy to realign its portfolio and develop 'value-added' solutions for customers.
The brewing and enzymes production generated sales of around €17 million in 2001 which included a significant distribution business for Genencor, said Rhodia.
Last week the company also announced that it has sold its European industrial and commercial activities related to basic chemicals to Bain Capital, a private investment firm. In November, the companies signed an agreement to divest these non-core chemical intermediates - including phenol, hydrochloric acid and soda ash.
Rhodia generated net sales of €7.2 billion in 2001.