By Liz White, UT staffParis-Safic-Alcan has announced that it has sold all its natural product activities-including natural rubber, NR latex and tropical oils-to UK group ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. The deal took place 30 Dec 2005. Paris-based Safic-Alcan will now focus on distribution of speciality and fine chemicals. The group also has plans to grow its fine 0chemicals activities, said a Safic-Alcan statement, pointing out that it has recently acquired Belgian chemical company Oerter Chemicals. Safic-Alcan claims to be No. 1 in speciality chemicals both for the rubber industry in Europe and for the coatings industry in Europe. The group distributes speciality chemicals for formulating industries, which include polyurethanes as well as rubber, thermoplastics, adhesives, paintings, inks, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food and the chemical synthesis industry. Since 2004, the French group has been owned by Daniel Lebard Management Development and Alpha General Partner 4, through the SAFICA company. ED&F Man's plans for Safic's 150-year-old natural products activities were not disclosed. The UK group trades in molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, spices and alcohol. "