The majority-owned Aeterna Zenaris subsidiary paid C$23.8 million for Multichem's assets, including its fine chemicals division which distributes high end specialty polyols to the sugar-free foods market in Canada and north east United States, as well as other active and inactive ingredients to the food, pharmaceutical, personal case and veterinary industries.
"The MultiChem acquisition is part of our growth strategy aimed at positioning Atrium among the leaders at the international level, in both our activity sectors which are active ingredients and specialty chemicals, as well as health and nutrition," said Luc Dupont, Atrium president and chief executive officer.
Atrium has been blazing an acquisition trail for several years in order to make the most of healthy living trends and North America's aging population.
In March 2004 it bought US supplement company Pure Encapsulations for approximately C$50 million in cash - a deal which gave it access to more than 36,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals which Pure supplied with its 270-product strong portfolio.
In November 2003 it bought marine active ingredients company Siricie and in August of the same year it acquired Chimiray/Interchemical, a distributor of fine chemicals and active ingredients.
In May 2002 it brought ADF Chimie and a line of nutritional supplements into its fold, and in July 2001 it bought 70 percent of French raw materials distributor Unipex.
In the most recently reported quarter (3Q 2004) Atrium's revenue was C$41 million, up 37 percent on the same period of 2003. Operating income was C$6.5 million and net earnings were C$2.8 million.
MultiChem's sales for the fiscal year ended 31 August 2004 were in excess of C$60 million.