* Shares had jumped on takeover talk
* Job cut announcement set for Q3 earnings on Wed - paper
ZURICH Oct 28 Swiss drug industry supplier
Lonza has not been engaged in any takeover talks with
a potential buyer, its chairman was quoted as saying on Sunday.
"The rumours have been plucked out of thin air. There are
and were no talks, not to mention negotiations," Chairman Rolf
Soiron told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper. "Lonza should
maintain its independence."
Lonza shares jumped last month on speculation that Saudi
Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) or Germany's BASF
might have switched takeover interest to the Swiss
firm from Britain's Yule Catto & Co.
Another newspaper, Der Sonntag, reported that Lonza was set
to announce unspecified job cuts when it reports third-quarter
earnings on Wednesday as the strong franc and price falls are
putting pressure on the profitability of its main plant in Visp.
The company was not immediately available for comment.
New Chief Executive Richard Ridinger said in July that while
the company's focus in the past was on dealmaking, it would now
concentrate on delivering promised operational improvements. A
review of Lonza's structure and business models is ongoing with
further job cuts a possibility.
The company ousted former CEO Stefan Borgas in January after
2011 profit plunged by one third.
Lonza's shift into specialty chemicals with the $1.2 billion
purchase last year of U.S. biocide company Arch Chemicals has
made it less dependent on volatile orders from drugmakers but
the move back to a lower-margin business has hurt earnings.