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Ross Organic to be acquired by Azelis, backed by Apax funds

17th January 2017

Azelis Americas, part of the Azelis Group, announced today the acquisition of Ross Organic, a specialty distributor into the personal care and home care / industrial cleaning markets located in Santa Fe, California, USA.

Azelis Americas, part of the Azelis Group, announced today the acquisition of Ross Organic, a specialty distributor into the personal care and home care / industrial cleaning markets located in Santa Fe, California, USA.  With this move, Azelis Americas increases their resources and commitment to these specialty growth markets in the Western US. In keeping with Azelis Americas’  “go to market strategy”, the Ross Organic brand will remain, along with the people servicing the innovative western personal care market. 

Hans-Joachim Müller, Azelis Group CEO, comments: “We are delighted about this acquisition. Ross Organic shares the same values that are central to Azelis: to be the best service provider in the industry. There is an excellent cultural fit between the companies which will result in enhanced service to both our customers and principals. I would like to thank our US team for their efforts in securing this important deal and am delighted that our successful growth strategy is being supported by funds advised by Apax Partners, our major shareholders.” 

Frank Bergonzi, CEO and President of Azelis Americas states: “One of the pillars of our Personal Care strategy has been to focus on increasing our footprint in the US in the personal care space. The DeWolf acquisition in early 2014 has been a resounding success, and we feel similarly positive about the addition of Ross Organic. They are a proven leader in the sales and marketing of specialty products and have the technical resources and lab facilities to be successful, which are also key elements to our value proposition.” Mr. Bergonzi concludes: “This acquisition affords us the extended reach and history of sustainable organic growth in a strategically important market segment.”  

“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we join Azelis Americas, the leading specialty chemical distributor in North America. We are confident that this move will further strengthen Ross Organic’s customer and supplier capabilities, as well as ensure we remain the preeminent personal care distributor in the Western US,” says Stephanie Ross Leshney, co-owner and President of Ross Organic. “Becoming part of Azelis is a huge step for the Ross family as we and our employees will celebrate our 30th year in business in 2017.  We look forward to celebrating this milestone, and many more, with our new partners and the Azelis family,” she concludes. 

Tim Dooling, President of Personal Care and Homecare and Industrial Cleaning market segments, Azelis Americas, says: “We look to partner with the ‘best in class’. Ross Organic represents the best in class, in both their technical expertise and innovative marketing engine. This investment demonstrates to both our suppliers and customers that Azelis Americas is committed to the personal care and homecare and industrial cleaning markets.”  Mr. Dooling concludes: “We will maintain all of their technical selling capabilities and do not plan to make any significant changes. Stephanie Ross Leshney will continue to lead the team, and we see no disruption in services to our customers or principals. We value the team Stephanie has put together and the Ross Organic name in the industry.”  


Contact information 

Azelis Americas
Terry Mullin
C: 1 917 715 3851
T: 203 883 1477
E: terry.mullin@azelisamericas.com

Apax Partners
Alex Wessendorff
T: +44 20 7872 6461
E: Alex.Wessendorff@apax.com

About Azelis
Azelis is the leading global specialty chemicals distributor providing a diverse range of innovative products and services. Dedicated teams serve customers in the following industries: 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, supported by over 30 application labs globally. In the Americas, Azelis Americas (www.azelisamericas.com) implements its business model and go-to-market strategy through co-branding its renowned local brands; thereby keeping the emphasis on its local focus and absolute customer service, while being part of the global Azelis network. 

Azelis, with its corporate service center 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 40 countries across the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific. 

For more information, please visit: www.azelis.com

About Ross Organic
Ross Organic has become known as a premier distributor of specialty ingredients in the western region.  The company has thirty years of experience selling into the personal care and home care industries and a solid track record for growth and advancement.  Ross Organic employs a team of technical sales professionals who work with marketers, product development companies and formulators to develop new and improved cosmetic, personal care and home care products.  Technical capabilities are bolstered with the company’s R&D laboratory, where formulations are designed to assist customers with product development.  The company distributes the products it sells out of its NACD approved 40,000 sq. ft. facility in the Los Angeles, CA (Santa Fe Springs) area. 

About Apax Partners
Apax Partners LLP is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 30-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments in excess of $48 billion*. Funds advised by Apax Partners invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech and Telco, Services, Health Care and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For further information about Apax Partners, 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 30, 2016.