Clearwater International has completed its third Chemicals deal in the last six months, when it advised the management team at specialist additive masterbatch manufacturer, Wells Plastics (“Wells”), on its multi-million pound buyout.
Independent private equity firm, Key Capital Partners (“KCP”), has invested £3.8 million of expansion capital for a significant minority stake in the Staffordshire-based company, alongside senior debt facilities from Natwest and a sizeable investment from incoming executive chairman, Paul Richardson. Wells supplies additives to global plastic manufacturers and processors that are looking to modify the properties of a broad range of plastic and polymer products in order to provide a range of enhanced properties, such as UV resistance, flame retardancy and oxobiodegradability. The end products are then supplied to a variety of sectors, including consumer, automotive, construction and agriculture.
The company has achieved a sustainable 20 per cent annual growth rate over recent years, driven largely by the growth in demand for its innovative oxobiodegradable product, Reverte™, which speeds up the natural degradation process of plastic to produce water, carbon dioxide and biomass. Widely acknowledged as the most advanced product of its type in the market, it is used mainly in packaging, particularly for carrier bags and in agriculture, and can reduce the biodegrading time of plastics from centuries to years or even months. The investment from KCP will enable Wells to exploit the major growth opportunity for Reverte™, with a particular focus on targeting the Middle East, Africa and South America, where rapid development is leading to increasing pressure on waste disposal management. The company will also draw on the investment to market directly to consumers in order to increase awareness of the benefits of the product.
Paul Richardson, an experienced CEO with recent experience at KIK Corp and Cott Corp, has joined sales and marketing director, Carl Birch, and technical director, Andrew Barclay, on the board of Wells. Partner at KCP, Andy Gregory, has also joined the board as non-executive director, while former managing director, David Nelson, will retain a role at the company.