Arsenal Capital Agrees To Buy DSM Unit | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 3, 2008

Arsenal Capital Agrees To Buy DSM Unit

Deal is latest for private equity firm focused on chemicals
Department: Business
Credit: Arsenal Capital
Credit: Arsenal Capital

Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity firm active in the chemical sector, has reached an agreement to acquire DSM's special products business for an undisclosed sum.

DSM Special Products operates a plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, that uses toluene oxidation to produce benzoic acid, the fine chemicals benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol, and the food preservatives sodium and potassium benzoate. Its sales last year were about $150 million, and it turned a slight operating profit, according to DSM.

John Televantos, an Arsenal principal, says the purchase fits the firm's specialty chemicals strategy of acquiring midsized niche players. "The acquisition will provide an excellent platform for growth through future investments planned for the Rotterdam site including a new manufacturing facility for dibenzoate esters," he says.

DSM put the special products business up for sale last September as part of its plan to emphasize life sciences and performance materials.

New York City-based Arsenal made a name for itself in the chemical industry by acquiring Rutherford Chemicals in 2003 and Reilly Industries in 2005 and later combining them to form Vertellus Specialties. Arsenal sold Vertellus to Wind Point Partners in December 2007 for three times its investment in the firm, it said at the time.

After that sale, Arsenal's main chemical asset has been Velsicol Chemical, a Rosemont, Ill.-based company that is one of only two U.S. producers of benzoic acid.

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