BORNHEIM, Germany ¿ Degussa AG said subsidiary Degussa Corp., of Parsippany, N.J., is gaining 100 percent ownership of Proligo LLC, of Boulder, Colo., a specialist in nucleic acid products.

Degussa will pay US$14.3 million to Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences Inc. for the purchase of Gilead¿s current 49 percent ownership, Degussa said, adding that the deal is expected to close Friday.

In addition, Degussa, of D|sseldorf, provided $18 million to Proligo to fuel the strategic expansion of Proligo¿s nucleic acid supply capacity to the genomics and genetic medicines marketplace, Degussa said.

These funds are expected to increase the production capacity for monomers for DNA synthesis at Proligo¿s German plant at Hamburg, as well as to increase the capacity for Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) oligonucleotide probe manufacturing and to build capacity for fully validated active pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing at its Boulder plant.

Degussa, after a restructuring process, is focused on specialty chemistry.

Proligo¿s planned expansion fits well with Degussa¿s strategy of establishing itself in new markets for specialty chemicals, Degussa¿s chairman, Utz-Hellmuth Felcht, said in a prepared statement. ¿With Proligo, we have gained an excellent foothold in the rapidly growing biotechnology supply market.¿

With its plants in North America and Europe, Proligo is in an ideal position to supply the global nucleic acids market, Degussa said.

Degussa has about 63,000 employees. In fiscal year 2000 it generated sales of EUR16.9 billion. By acquiring the outstanding interests in Proligo, Degussa realized a call option negotiated between the former NeXstar Pharmaceuticals, which was merged into Gilead in 1998, and the former SKW Trostberg AG, which was acquired by Degussa in February.