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Azelis closes deal for KDG acquisition

21st December 2015

Azelis Group (Azelis) and KODA Distribution Group (KDG) announce that the deal to acquire US-based KDG, is complete and has now closed following regulatory clearance.

Azelis Group (Azelis) and KODA Distribution Group (KDG) announce that the deal to acquire US-based KDG, is complete and has now closed following regulatory clearance. 

As of today, KDG is Azelis Americas and is led by Frank Bergonzi, CEO and President of Azelis Americas, and a member of the Azelis Board of Directors. Frank Bergonzi reports to Hans Joachim Müller, CEO Azelis Group.

Azelis Americas will continue to operate in the USA and Canada using its existing business model and go-to-market strategy. Its renowned local brands will be maintained and co-branded with the Azelis visual identity, thereby emphasizing its local focus on absolute customer service, now backed by a global structure. Specialty markets are also aligned across the Group. 

Frank Bergonzi said, “We are delighted to be part of Azelis. As our teams have gotten to know each other over the last weeks, it has been clear that we have similar cultures. We definitely have aligned business philosophy, centred around technical service and focus our efforts on specialty chemicals and ingredients.  We share a common goal: to better serve our customers and principals at a global, regional and local level.  Since the deal was announced, we learned that many of our principals have indicated they are interested in growing with us. A key attribute is our ability to access the smaller customer base via skilled sales teams with in-depth technical knowledge and market expertise.”

Hans Joachim Müller said,” Although we are now a much larger organisation with a better balanced geographical footprint, the overarching rationale of the acquisition was the revenue synergies that exist between KDG and Azelis, which we aim to exploit. Going forward we will be focusing on generating fast–paced organic growth by extending our lateral value chain offering to the specific markets we serve. Moreover we also will selectively pursue acquisition opportunities to complement our portfolio. We are now well positioned in North America and in Europe and have built a sizeable and fast growing presence in Asia. We will continue to expand and invest for future profitable growth, as we become a truly global player in specialty chemicals.”

In total the new company will have over 30 application laboratories worldwide covering Food & Health, Personal Care, Pharma, Homecare & Industrial Cleaning and CASE (Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomers). In-house chemists and technologists help customers to develop innovative products, enhance product improvements and showcase our principals’ products using novel applications. This service in supporting customer’s needs in specialty chemicals remains the cornerstone of the enhanced Azelis Group. 

The deal demonstrates the commitment of funds advised by Apax Partners, the major shareholders in technical service provider Azelis, to support its global growth in the specialty chemical segment.

“We're delighted to support Azelis on the strategically important acquisition of Koda Distribution Group – the combined group will benefit from both deep technical expertise and local knowledge, while offering global customers an expanded suite of services. At Apax, distribution and logistics are sub-segments of focus within the services sector and as part of our investment in Azelis, we are keen to leverage the relevant experience we gained with investments including Rhiag and Quality Distribution,” said Frank Ehmer, Partner at Apax Partners LLP.

Barclays acted as lead M&A and financial advisor to Azelis and Apax.  Barclays, Morgan Stanley and ING will provide financing for the transaction and Morgan Stanley also provided financial advice to Azelis on the transaction. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP provided legal advice, Ernst & Young provided accounting and tax advice, BCG provided commercial advice.

About Azelis

Azelis is the leading global speciality chemicals distributor providing a diverse range of innovative products and services. Dedicated teams serve customers in the personal care, pharma, food & health, animal nutrition, specialty agri/horti, homecare & industrial cleaning, CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers) lubricants & metal working fluids, rubber & plastic additives and chemicals industries. 

Through sourcing and distribution channels in every major market around the world, Azelis with its corporate service centre in Antwerp, Belgium, offers chemical producers market penetration, in-depth local knowledge, value-added services and tailored multi-territory solutions. Azelis has a turnover of c.a. €1.5 billion and employs around 1,500 knowledgeable people located in more than 45 facilities in more than 35 countries across the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Morocco.

About Apax Partners LLP

Apax Partners LLP is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 30 year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised 32 funds with aggregate commitments of $38 billion*. Funds advised by Apax Partners LLP invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech and Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For further information about Apax Partners LLP, please visit www.apax.com. Apax Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK and is subject to the FCA's rules and guidance. Apax Partners’ registered office is 33 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6DN, UK.

* Funds raised since 1981, commitments converted from fund currency to USD at FX rates as at September 2015.

For more information please contact:

Gillian Berry
Head of Corporate Communications
T: +44 (0)1992 825555
E: gillian.berry@azelis.com

Azelis Americas
Terry Mullin
Marketing Manager
T: +1 917 609 0331
E: terry.mullin@azelisamericas.com

Apax Partners – Global Media Enquiries
Alex Wessendorff
Apax Partners LLP
Tel: +44 20 7872 6461
Email: alex.wessendorff@apax.com

Apax Partners – The Americas Media Enquiries
Todd Fogarty
Kekst and Company
Tel: +1 212 521 4854
Email: todd-fogarty@kekst.com