Chemicals sector comment – December 2012


Clearwater’s Chemicals Team is delighted to announce our latest transaction in the chemicals sector.

Norman Hay plc has acquired US-based SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts Group (SIFCO-ASC) from SIFCO Industries of Cleveland, Ohio. The acquisition includes SIFCO ASC LLC (USA), SIFCO-ASC France and SIFCO-ASC Sweden.

SIFCO-ASC is the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of process equipment and associated chemicals for selective electroplating and anodizing. It also has its own subcontract process operations across the USA and Europe. The company has approximately 80 employees based in four locations in the USA (Cleveland, Houston, Connecticut and Virgina) and four in Europe (UK, Sweden and two locations in France). They also have a number of licensed job shops, agents and distributors worldwide.

The acquisition is a perfect strategic fit for Norman Hay Group as they focus on international expansion. The SIFCO-ASC business will benefit greatly from Norman Hay’s Surface Technology contacts both in the UK and overseas.

Clearwater acted for Norman Hay on the transaction.


Isochem SA, a portfolio company of Aurelius AG, has acquired Wychem Ltd, a UK speciality chemicals producer. The acquisition will complement Aurelius’s current chemical portfolio companies; Framochem, CalaChem and Briar Chemicals.

Monument Chemicals Inc is to acquire the organics and performance urethanes businesses of Lonza Group AG based in Kentucky, USA. These assets are part of Lonza purchase of Arch Chemicals in 2012, and are non core.

Merieux NutriSciences Corporation has acquired Chelab srl, an Italian leader in chemical, microbiological and biological laboratory services. Chelab strengthens Merieux NutriSciences’s food safety position in Europe and enhances potential for innovation in chemical analysis.

BASF SE plans to acquire Pronova BioPharma ASA, a pioneer in the field of research, development and manufacturing of omega-3 fatty acids. The acquisition will significantly strengthen BASF’s position in this fast growing and highly profitable market.

DKSH Holdings Ltd has acquired Staerkle & Nagler AG, a Swiss specialty chemicals distributor. This complements its leadership position in Asia and strengthens European operations of its Performance Materials Business Unit.

J&E Sozio SA will acquire Sentaromatique SA, a company specialising in organic fragrances; suiting Sozio’s strategy in reinforcing its European operations.

Compo GmbH & Co. KG, a portfolio company of Triton Partners will acquire Terrasan Haus + Gartenbedarf GmbH & Co KG, a manufacturer of home and garden products such as insecticides, fertilizers and woodchip. This will expand Compo’s product portfolio and increase turnover in the consumer segment by around one third.

Diana Group SA, a portfolio company of UK firm Motion Equity Partners LLP, and French based AXA Private Equity, has acquired the vegetable, wine and vinegar extracts business of Givaudan SA, the listed Switzerland based flavours and fragrances company. This will strengthen DIANA’s position in the natural flavourings market. This is DIANA’s fourth aquistion since June; suiting it’s strategy to find inorganic growth in a fragmented sector.

Biolchim SpA, the Italian producer of water-soluble fertilizers, has been acquired in a secondary management buyout, backed by Italy based private equity firm Wise Venture SGR SpA. This provides an exit for private equity firms IMI Fondi Chiusi SGR SpA and Assietta Private Equity SGR SpA.

Nanogate AG has acquired a 35% stake in Plastic-Design GmbH, a German company engaged in the production and coating of transparent and coloured glazed plastics. This complements Plastic-Design’s product portfolio and increass Nanogate’s efficiencies and reduces costs.

Air Liquide SA has acquired Lentechgas, a market leader in North West Russia with significant market share in bulk and packaged industrial gases, and healthcare. This acquisition will expand Air Liquide’s footprint.

Cosmo International Fragrances Inc has acquired Compania General de Esencias SL, a Spanish fragrance producer.

Teknos Oy has acquired Sweden based Wedevåg Färg AB, who specialise in paints for industrial wood and metal surfaces. The acquisition will significantly strengthen Teknos’s position in this market and increase product portfolio, whilst providing a larger sales platform for Wedavag.

The Sherwin-Williams Company Inc has acquired Comex SA de CV, a Mexico-based paint manufacturer and wholesaler, for approx. $2.4bn. The transaction will significantly increase Sherwin-Williams’ presence in markets where store count is low, suiting its grow strategy of the architectural paint business in the Americas.

Gulf Oil Corporation Ltd, a subsidiary of Hinduja Group Indian Ltd, will acquire Houghton International Inc, a US-based metalworking fluids and other speciality chemicals, oils and lubricants manufacturer. Gulf’s operations will leverage Houghton’s base of industrial customers offering an end-to-end range of lubricants.

BASF SE has acquired Becker Underwood Inc, a US seed-applied biological products developer and manufacturer. The transaction will enhance BASF’s position in North America, and enable continual expansion in this core area.

Koninklijke DSM NV has agreed to acquire Fortitech Inc, a US custom chemical nutrient premixes manufacturer. The acquisition will help DSM expand their value chain presence and international footprint.

Private equity firm SK Capital Partners LP has acquired the antioxidant and UV stablisers business of Chemtura Corporation. This provides an attractive platform with significant growth and performance potential for SK Capital, whilst simplifying Chemtura’s business portfolio.

Ultrapar Participações SA through its subsidiary Oxiteno SA Indústria e Comércio, has acquired American Chemical ICSA, a Uruguay-based chemicals manufacturer for $79m. This is part of Oxiteno’s strategy of international expansion.

Spencer Coatings Ltd has acquired R J Stokes & Company Ltd, a Huthwaite based paints and coatings manufacturer and wholesaler. The transaction is expected to elevate Spencer Coatings.

Fuchs Lubricants (UK) plc, a subsidiary of German Fuchs Petrolub AG, has acquired the business and assets of CNC Fluids Limited, a Bristol based supplier of metalworking fluids. The acquisition forms part of Fuchs’ strategy to develop it’s UK arm, strengthen product portfolio, and extend customer base.

VWR International LLC has acquired Switch BVBA, a manufacturer of cytology and histology reagents and dyes and Labonord SAS, an independent distribution partner. The acquisition will expand VWR’s cytology and histology portfolio and provide opportunities to offer the Q-Path products across Europe.

Yara International ASA is to acquire Bunge Limited’s fertiliser business in Brazil for $750m, significantly strengthen Yara’s fertiliser position.

J.W. Ostendorf GmbH & Co. KG has aquired all corporate shares of Renaulac SA, a French paint producer to the DIY and professional market. The acquisition will extend J.W.’s international reach giving access to Renaulac customers beyond France.

Atlanta AG has acquired Chemical Corporation of America Inc, a US manufacturer of specialty wax additives for a wide range of industries including floor finishes, exterior paint and deck stains. This acquisition suits Atlanta’s strategy of USA expansion and open doors to new markets.

International Chemical Investors SE, a private industrial holding company has acquired the pharmaceutical ingredients activities of Tessenderlo Chemie NV, France and Italy. The divestment is in line with Tessenderlo Group’s strengthened focus on specialty products and services in food, agriculture, water management and valorizing bio-residuals.

Sika AG has acquired Inatec SRL, the market leader in construction chemicals who has a strong position in the refurbishment, waterproofing and concrete admixtures market in Paraguay. This completes Sika’s stronghold in Latin America.

Niacet Corp has acquired the food, pharmaceutical, and acetate based chemicals business of Kemira Oyj. The businesses will fetch $108m enabling them to focus on products and applications for water quality and management.

PPG Industries Inc is to acquire the North American Decorative Paints business of AkzoNobel NV for $1.05bn. Akzo Nobel has turned around the business in the last four years and can now focus its Decorative Paints business on key European markets.