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SAFC Hitech(R) Well Positioned for High-Brightness LED Manufacturing Boom With TMG Expansion at Bromborough UK Plant
Date:3/22/2010

ST. LOUIS, March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAFC Hitech®, a business segment within SAFC®, a division of the Sigma-Aldrich® Group (Nasdaq: SIAL), today announced it plans to invest $2m (approximately 1.2m pounds Sterling) in expanding production of trimethylgallium (TMG) at its Bromborough, Wirral, UK manufacturing plant. The investment, which was supported by Wirral Council and The Mersey Partnership (TMP), who helped secure additional funding of 300,000 pounds from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), is expected to enable SAFC Hitech to strengthen its position as a leading global supplier of TMG and satisfy the growing demand for the material in the production of high brightness LEDs (HBLEDs) for use in applications such as backlighting in flat panel television sets and energy efficient lighting.

Reducing energy consumption and extending energy efficiency are trends driving the global electronics industry to provide more energy-efficient products and systems. Demand in the lighting industry, for example, has seen improvement with the deployment of LEDs to replace currently ubiquitous systems - incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent lighting and its compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) derivative. As a result, the electronics market is at the start of a phase where mass manufacture of HBLEDs is occurring.

TMG has been manufactured at SAFC Hitech's Bromborough facility for a number of years, primarily for supply to the global semiconductor industry. However, as TMG also fulfills the technical criteria for devices designed for the LED, laser, communication and other markets, the boom in demand for LEDs has led to the conclusion that expanding the plant - with its expertise and specific manufacturing knowledge for this process - was the ideal business solution to meet customer demand. The 300,000 pounds Grant for Business Investment (GBI), which was awarded by the NWDA, is part of 'Solutions for Business', the UK Government's package of publicly-funded business support designed to help companies start and grow.

"Expanding our TMG capacity not only draws on our Bromborough facility's core competencies, but also reinforces Sigma-Aldrich's overall strategy of leveraging proprietary technologies and capabilities into new, fast growing market segments, thus differentiating ourselves and our materials offerings through technical innovation," commented Dr. Geoff Irvine, VP, Business Development, SAFC Hitech. "This investment is expected to accelerate the delivery of TMG to a growing market position and reinforce our position as a leading global manufacturer and distributor for the growing LED market worldwide, as well as create jobs in the area, which is positive news given the current economic climate."

For further information regarding SAFC Hitech's world-class portfolio of products and services, go to www.safchitech.com.

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "strengthen its position," "satisfy the growing demand," "ideal business solution," "meet customer demand," "create jobs" or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that TMG products will continue to meet the demands of the marketplace. Nor can there be any guarantee that any of these products will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding these products could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the Company's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Company's assets and liabilities as recorded in its consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Sigma-Aldrich's current Form 10-K on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sigma-Aldrich is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About SAFC Hitech: SAFC Hitech provides a unique chemistry service translating application understanding into performance materials worldwide. Through collaborative partnerships and an integrated approach from research and development, process development and scale up to commercial manufacturing, SAFC Hitech invests in innovation and manufacturing enabling current and future technology needs. Further information can be found at http://www.safchitech.com.

About SAFC: SAFC is the custom manufacturing and services business unit within Sigma-Aldrich that focuses on high-purity inorganics for high technology applications, cell culture products and services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, biochemical production and the manufacturing of complex, multi-step organic synthesis of APIs and key intermediates. SAFC has manufacturing facilities around the world dedicated to providing manufacturing services for companies requiring a reliable partner to produce their custom manufactured materials. SAFC has four business segments – SAFC Pharma®, SAFC Supply Solutions®, SAFC Biosciences®, and SAFC Hitech® – and had annual sales of over $620 million in 2008. SAFC is considered a top 10 fine chemical company. For more information about SAFC, visit www.safcglobal.com.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 38 countries and has 7,700 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Innovation and Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at www.sigma-aldrich.com.

SAFC, SAFC Hitech and Sigma-Aldrich are registered trademarks Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich

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