The Adhex Group achieves a turnover close to €100 million with a workforce of 570 people, including 370 in Dijon-Chenôve and 45 in its new unit in Pelousey in the Doubs. Adhex specializes in the design, production and marketing of adhesives and technical labels on behalf of major international clients in the automotive, health and industrial sectors. The Chenôve site is also home to AdhexPharma, another subsidiary of Burgundy Ventures, which designs and manufactures pharmaceutical patches (130 employees, €28 million in sales). The pharmaceutical company AdhexPharma aims to become the world leader in the development and manufacture of transdermal patches and oral films. In this perspective, AdhexPharma is continuing its development in Germany by acquiring a company from the Tesa group. Interview with Roland de la Brosse, President of Adhex.
Adhex is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and you are taking the opportunity to inaugurate your new premises this Saturday, is this a big investment for Adhex?
First of all, it’s a great event because these 70 years mark the history and the whole construction of our society. We take this opportunity to inaugurate a 7,000 square meter building on our Chenôve site. And in this building, there is a laboratory part with new equipment to continue our research effort with a new pilot tunnel which will allow us to make prototypes and small series. We are in the process of finalizing everything, wiring everything to be ready for this inauguration this Saturday.
For what type of research exactly?
Really, this is the heart of our business. These are the adhesives, the adhesive tape even exactly, in three sectors. Adhesive for automotive, health for electrodes and dressings and construction. It’s a profession that is constantly evolving because we have new possibilities with chemistry. Customer needs are also constantly changing. In the building industry, for example, new membranes are being developed to provide better insulation for buildings. In the world of dressings, we will see products that are better tolerated by patients. And in general, we also put a lot of effort into the eco-design of our products, with products that are increasingly green and that use fewer solvents. All of this requires a major research effort led by our laboratory, our doctors of chemistry, our technicians, who do a fantastic job day after day.
7000 square meters is a huge building. Do you already know what the impact of rising energy costs will be for Adhex?
Of course, it is constantly calculated. This is already a financial impact that is estimated at around two million euros. Our company has a turnover of around 100 million euros, so that’s a huge part of our bottom line, and of course that worries us a lot. The subject of energy is approached from an economic point of view, but also from an environmental point of view with a view to decarbonization. Our environmental action obviously involves sorting and recycling, but it also involves setting up industrial processes that are highly efficient while using less energy. And with us, highly qualified engineers in thermodynamics are looking for solutions to use less energy while keeping the same volume of production. This means new and much more efficient industrial means. We are investing three million euros to have better energy yields. For example, on the induction line, we are going to acquire exchangers to recover the heat generated by our processes to reinject it into the heating of buildings, into air conditioning and therefore be much more efficient.
Adhex and Adhex Pharma expand internationally with the acquisition of a German company
Adhex is also a group, Burgundy Ventures, of which Adhex Pharma is a member. There too there is a big news this week with the acquisition of the German company Tesa Latec specialized in particular in pharmaceutical patches. It becomes a subsidiary of Adhex Pharma, Adhex’s sister company, which itself specializes in pharmaceutical patches, particularly for smoking cessation.
We had continuous growth, but here we are going to make a leap all at once! – Roland de la Brosse, President of Adhex
“We had relations with this German company for a very long time. Germany is a country with a great tradition of technology for this type of product and we were able to reach an agreement with the current owner who was there to the acquisition of companies. For us, it is really the possibility of setting foot in Germany. We had continuous growth, but here we are going to make a leap all at once. And then it gives us visibility on the international market. This is a market where we have to convince Korean and American clients, from all over the world, perhaps Brazilians. This acquisition allows us to gain a lot of visibility and also to gain new colleagues with a lot of experience. The German team already has new products in its boxes, a very strong expertise in formulation, we will try to join forces with the French team to be able to develop new products, new patches for very varied conditions. such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. These are drugs and it is true that it is also our raison d’être to find products that will be useful to patients and therefore to provide an adhesive part for Adhex.” enthuses Roland de la Brosse
Dozens of new jobs and a new factory in Dijon within three years
The President of Adhex also explains that this acquisition will result in the creation of jobs and the construction of a new factory in the Dijon metropolitan area. Roland de la Brosse estimates that approximately 60 jobs will be created within three years, and even a hundred if all goes well. “We have a brand new factory to set up, so we will have to review this plan with the metropolis for building permits.” adds the big boss of Adhex.