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UK chemicals firm Johnson Matthey (JMAT) to sell health unit

By Adrian Holliday

09:00, 17 December 2021

Johnson Matthey logo close-up
Johnson Matthey has stopped making chemicals for batteries, once a key business objective – Photo: Shutterstock

British multinational speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company Johnson Matthey (JMAT) is part-offloading its health business to healthcare investment company Altaris Capital Partners for £325m ($433m) and would retain a 30% stake. 

An announcement made this morning by the FTSE-100 business, which has endured much turbulence in the market, saw little impact on the share price, rising 0.60% to 2002.00p. 

In November, the firm announced that it would stop making chemicals for batteries – a once key business objective – and warned that supply chain shortages would affect year-ending results. Its shares had plunged to an 11-month low on the news. 

‘Greener’ business interests 

Johnson Matthey’s health business makes specialist pharmaceutical ingredients for pharma and biotechnology customers. The 204-year-old company announced a review of this business in April 2021. 

This new sale is part of a company strategy to push cash flow towards ‘greener’ business interests.


2,072.25 Price
+1.760% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0193%
Short position overnight fee 0.0111%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
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Oil - Crude

74.50 Price
-1.560% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0136%
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38,794.15 Price
-0.110% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
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+0.470% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 7.0

An additional £50m payment “will be contingent on the achievement of certain performance targets in FY23 (the financial year 2023) and FY24,” said the chemicals and industrial player. 

Another £50m would also be structured as a vendor loan note “which will be deferred until a future exit and will accrue interest at a rate of 8% per annum until this point, compounding quarterly”.

Powering more ‘attractive areas’

Robert MacLeod, chief executive of Johnson Matthey said they were focusing their own portfolio “on the most attractive growth areas, specifically businesses driving growth from climate change solutions – circularity solutions, hydrogen technologies and decarbonisation of chemicals and fuels”. 

JMAT shares were down more than 26.2% in the last three months though this softens to 22.5% over 12 months.

Read on: Johnson Matthey share price forecast: is this one of the best FTSE 100 bargains?

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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