Distributors acquire and invest worldwide

27. Juli 2021

Distributors acquire and invest worldwide

Most of the world’s largest chemical distributors have continued to grow, both by acquisition and investment, in the past month. Azelis has been the most active, with new buys in France and South Korea, while IMCD has been particularly active in Mexico and Brenntag has completed two key deals in China.

Azelis is to buy Paris-based Quimdis, a distributor of ingredients for nutraceuticals, flavours and fragrances (F&F), animal nutrition, personal care, pharma and food. This company said that this strengthens it in “fast-growing and attractive markets, while also enhancing the position of Azelis France in the life science sector”.

Quimdis employs 78, has about 400 suppliers and over 1,000 customers, and turns over €100 million year. Co-founder and managing director Jean-François Quarré will remain in his position to support the transition. Closing is expected to take place end of August. Terms were not disclosed.

“Following our recent acquisition of Vigon in North America and now Quimdis, Azelis is well positioned to develop, structure and implement a global strategy for the F&F market with the aim to become a market leader. Quimdis will be our EMEA pillar of that strategy and a crucial part of creating a global F&F platform,” said CEO Dr Hans Joachim Müller.

The company has also agreed to buy Coseal, a South Korean specialist in the distribution, repackaging and blending of agricultural and horticultural surfactants. The deal should close in Q3 and the firm’s 45 employees will all transfer. Azelis has been in the Korean market since 2018, when it bought personal care distributor SamniChem and it has since acquired food distributor MH.

Most recently, Azelis opened a new personal care application laboratory in Cairo, Egypt, its seventh in total. The company said that this enables it to “offer new formulations and stability studies to its customers from the personal care industry in the [Middle East and Africa] region”. It has already been creating and optimizing formulations for hair, skin and sun care products, using the firm’s own actives and additives.

A little earlier, Azelis’s Megafarma subsidiary revealed that it is to open its first full-service innovation centre in Mexico City. Covering 930 m2, this will feature five industry-specific application labs for the CARE, CASE, food, pharmaceuticals and plastics markets, providing custom formulations, product development, regulatory compliance, problem solving and sales support.

Meanwhile, also in Mexico, IMCD’s national subsidiary is to acquire Maquimex, a speciality chemicals distributor active in the preservatives, HI&I, energy, water treatment and other industrial markets. The firm said that Maquimex’s industrial and life sciences businesses complement its own in pharmaceuticals, food, nutrition, beauty and personal care.

IMCD México was itself established only in April 2020. It now comprises the former DCS Pharma, acquired in 2019, and Millikan and Banner Química, which it acquired in December 2020. These have now been fully integrated. With Maquimex, it will now have about 125 employees and four market-focused laboratories.

On 23 July, global market leader Brenntag closed two acquisitions within its Specialties division. These were: the first tranche (67%) of food ingredients specialist Zhongbai Xingye, with the rest to follow by the end of 2024; and the remaining 49% share of its former joint venture, pigments and additives specialist Wellstar Group, which has facilities at Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.

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