Clearwater advises on sale of speciality chemicals solutions firm


RahuCat’s environmentally friendly coatings, composites and inks technology sold to US speciality chemicals solutions firm.

Clearwater Corporate Finance has advised Unilever Ventures (“UV”) and RahuCat Management on the sale of UV portfolio company Rahu Catalytics Ltd (‘RahuCat’).

Nottingham-based RahuCat is a developer of unique iron-ligand based chemistry for use in environmentally friendly coatings, composites and inks. The company has been acquired by OM Group Inc (NYSE: OMG) (‘OM Group’), a leading global solutions provider of specialty chemicals, advanced materials, electrochemical energy storage, magnetic materials and unique technologies crucial to enabling customers to meet increasingly stringent market and application requirements.

RahuCat is at the forefront of developing clean, robust and cost-effective coatings, composites and ink driers to meet an ever-increasing need for environmentally friendly coatings, composites and inks throughout the world.

RahuCat was established in 2006 after completing a spin-out from Unilever Group plc, with backing from the Group’s venture capital unit, Unilever Ventures.

The transaction includes all related intellectual property rights and master patents, as well as all manufacturing and supply agreements. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal was led by Clearwater Corporate Finance’s chemicals team, comprising Philip Nuttall, Constantine Biller and Nick Horrocks.

Philip Nuttall, partner and head of chemicals at Clearwater Corporate Finance, said: “With EU legislation looming over the use of heavy metals in chemicals, RahuCat has developed much sought after technology that will have a significant impact on the paints industry.”

Constantine Biller, chemicals partner at Clearwater Corporate Finance, added: “The deal is great news for Unilever Ventures and RahuCat Management, who together have successfully nurtured Rahu as the company and commercialized its unique iron-ligand technology. For OM Group the acquisition is significant as it will allow it to reinforce its Borchi OXY-Coat product line for the global coatings industry.”

Paul Smith, CEO of RahuCat, said: “This technology will play an integral role in the future development of the paint and coatings industry and support its transition to developing environmentally friendly paints that comply with current and upcoming EU legislation relating to VOCs and other related issues. This deal is the culmination of an excellent collaboration with OM Group and provides real evidence of the value of the emerging technologies.”

John Coombs, Head of Unilever Ventures, said: “Rahu is a company with great potential but limited current traction, not an easy sell in the current M&A market. Clearwater demonstrated great understanding of the acquirer community and a deep set of relationships. We were delighted both with the thoughtful way they engaged with the task and the end result.