Clearwater secures sale of Phytone to US chemicals company


Clearwater Corporate Finance has secured the cross-border sale of leading independent natural food colouring manufacturer, Phytone, to Philadelphia based multinational chemical company FMC Corporation.

Based in Burton-on-Trent, Phytone manufactures natural colours and other naturally derived ingredients primarily for the global food industry. The acquisition will provide directors, Andrew Kevill and Bruce Henry, and other family members, with an exit and realisation of their original investment. The consideration for the transaction was not disclosed.

Phytone was founded in 1989 and employs over 40 people in development and manufacturing at its purpose built premises in Staffordshire. Applications for its products, which are sold in over 30 countries include; drinks; ice cream, flour/sugar confectionary; dairy; desserts; sauces and meat products.

Formed in 1883, FMC Corporation has developed into one of the world’s largest chemical businesses, with leading positions in the global agricultural, industrial and consumer markets. The business employs over 5,000 people worldwide and generated annual sales of $3.4bn in 2011.

Partner Paul Newell led the deal team for Clearwater, which advised Phytone on the sale, and was supported by director Karen Edwards.

Paul said: “Some of the larger players in the chemical industry have built up significant cash reserves in recent years to provide a buffer from the economic slowdown. However, with confidence returning to global markets, there has been an upsurge in M&A activity as these businesses look to access new markets and diversify their product offering.

“FMC has been building its global presence in the natural colours industry, which is an attractive growth sector. The acquisition provides the ideal platform to access the European market, as well as take on Phytone’s specialist manufacturing and development facilities and its market-leading technical expertise.”