Clearwater International advises on sale of Pentagon Chemicals Holdings


Pentagon Chemicals Holdings, the UK chemical manufacturer, has been acquired by US group Vertellus in a deal advised by Clearwater International.

Widnes-based Pentagon has been operating since 1939, producing fine chemicals and intermediates for the crop chemicals, oilfield, paper and pharmaceutical industries. With a turnover of over €60m and 180 employees, Pentagon is one of the largest independent manufacturers of speciality chemicals in the UK.

Vertellus Specialties is a US manufacturer of speciality chemicals for the agriculture, coatings, medical, nutrition, personal care, pharmaceutical and plastic industries. The Indiana-based business is backed by US private equity firm Wind Point Capital Partners, which acquired Vertellus in 2007.

This acquisition will allow Vertellus to continue expanding its range of speciality chemicals and provide the company with the capability to enhance its UK plant, significantly increasing market share across Europe. This will allow Vertellus to better serve its existing customer base on a global scale.

Clearwater International advised the shareholders of Pentagon Chemicals on the sale of the company. The team was headed by partners Constantine Biller and Philip Nuttall, with support from director Nick Horrocks.

Constantine Biller, head of Industrials & Chemicals at Clearwater International, said: “Vertellus’ acquisition of Pentagon is a fantastic achievement for the company’s shareholders. Pentagon’s key position in the industry makes it a great strategic deal for the US group. In addition, Pentagon will expand Vertellus’ manufacturing footprint and add additional, high-value chemistries to its portfolio. This transaction also allows Pentagon to move to the next stage in its already firm position in the market.”

Allan Laing, CEO at Pentagon Chemicals, added: “We have worked with Clearwater International for several years, first as Board advisers and ultimately as our corporate finance advisers when we decided to sell the business. We have always been impressed with the in-depth knowledge they hold within the international chemicals market. This, allied with their experience in corporate finance and M&A, meant they were able to navigate us successfully to the sale of Pentagon. Furthermore, they were able to find a buyer willing to support the team and the future of the two sites whilst allowing myself to exit the business to pursue other interests. Our relationship has always been about trust and support. Clearwater International were never afraid to give us tough advice and always had the best interests of myself and my fellow shareholders at heart throughout our relationship. I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone considering a similar process for their company.”