February 7, 2000Management


Tokyo, JAPAN - Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (AGC, Head Office: Tokyo, President: Shinya Ishizu) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC, Head Office: Tokyo, President: Mikio Sasaki) announced today that, as a step to strengthen each companies' fluorinated fine chemicals business for pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates, they have reached an agreement with British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL, Head Office: Warrington, Cheshire, Chief Executive: John Taylor) to acquire all shares in BNFL's 100% subsidiary, F2 Chemicals Ltd. (F2, Head Office: Preston, Lancashire, UK, Managing Director : Bill Denison), which possesses various unique and innovative fluorine related technologies. AGC and MC have agreed to purchase all shares in F2. Total value to be paid by AGC and MC group for this transaction will be approx £5 million (900 million Japanese Yen) and have signed the share purchase agreement on Jan 31, 2000.

AGC has, in the field of fluorinated chemicals, integrated production processes from raw materials, fluoride, and placed fluorinated chemicals business as one of the "Grow businesses" in its mid-term corporate plan "Shrink to Grow 2001". Not only having been actively involved in the vast area of fluorinated chemicals business, including fluorinated resins, AGC is also putting a lot of its resources into the business of pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates and bulks. MC has a subsidiary specialized in the manufacture of fluorinated fine chemicals, Miteni S.p.A (Miteni, Head Office: Milano, Italy, President: Junichi Komamura), and intends to extend its performance in the production and sales of fluorinated fine chemicals, including pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates and electronics chemicals.

On the other hand, BNFL regarded F2 as non-core subsidiary and was seeking for a purchaser of F2. AGC and MC expected that F2's unique fluorinated gas application technologies would become essential keys to distinguish themselves in the global competition and add the synergetic effects to the fluorinated chemicals business of each group, and decided to jointly acquire F2 to expand applications of those technologies.

Main technologies of F2 are as follows:

  1. Fluorination technology using cobalt fluoride

The fluorination technology using cobalt fluoride is applied to produce perfluorocarbons for refrigerants, for electronic chemicals, including those for the production of semiconductors, and for recently developed application for ultrasound contrast agents. F2 is widely known for the strength of the said technology as well as its GMP based production facilities. The said technology is also expected to be applied for the production of new fluorinated monomers and for the improvement of a variety of polymers.

  2. Selective direct fluorination technology ("SDF")

SDF is the technology to introduce a fluorine atom selectively into a specific part of organic compounds by employing fluorine gas, which is generally recognized difficult to handle with. Compared with other existing fluorination technologies, such as those using HF (hydrogen fluoride) or KF (potassium fluoride), SDF can shorten the production process while using lower-cost raw materials. SDF is highlighted as the new production process for the production of pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates and compounds for LCDs.

After the completion of this transaction, AGC will own 51% share and MC group (MC 34%, Miteni 15%) will own 49% share of F2. F2 will continue its business in its own name, F2 Chemicals Ltd. F2's annual turnover for the year ending December 1999 is estimated at about 500 million Japanese Yen, and AGC and MC will actively support F2's R&D and marketing to double its sales within 5 years.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Arata Yasuda
Director, Fine Chemicals
Performance Chemicals General Division , Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
12-1, Yurakucho 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8405, Japan
Tel: 81-3-3218-5380 / Fax: 81-3-3218-7843

Mr. Jun Nishizawa
Deputy Manager, Press Relations Office , Mitsubishi Corporation
6-3, Marunouchi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8086, Japan
Tel: 81-3-3210-2172 / Fax: 81-3-5252-7705


  1. F2 Chemicals Ltd.

(1) Address Preston, Lancashire, UK
(2) President Mr. Bill Denison
(3) Capital £6 million (as of Sep.30, 1999)
(4) Shareholders British Nuclear Fuels plc 100 %
(5) Main Products
  • Perfluorocarbons for refrigerants, electronic chemicals and ultrasound contrast media
  • Fluorinated intermediates for pharmaceutical & agrochemical agents
(6) Annual Sales £2.26 million (Financial Year 1998)
(7) Establishment 1992
(8) Employees 46 persons (as of Sep.30, 1999)

  2. Miteni S.p.A
(1) Address Milano, Italy
(2) President Mr. Junichi Komamura
(3) Capital 13 billion Lire
(4) Main Products Fluorinated fine chemicals Fluorocarbons
(5) Annual Sales 83 billion Lire (Financial Year 1998)
(6) Establishment 1988
(7) Employees 191 persons
  3. Ultrasound Contrast Agents

The principle of the ultrasound diagnosis is based on detection of the reflection which is generated when ultrasound wave passes through the substances having different impedance with blood or living organisms. Utilization of a variety of PFC's was found very efficient to obtain a stable and safe contrast agent, which is expected to provide clearer and more integrated information in diagnosis, coupled with the progress of image techniques.

  4. GMP

GMP(Good Manufacturing Practice) is the standardized processes and conditions for manufacturing the pharmaceutical chemicals in good quality. According to the advice by WHO(World Health Organization) in 1969, GMP is now adopted worldwide as the necessary conditions for the production of pharmaceutical chemicals.