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Mergers & Acquisitions

Synthomer to buy Omnova

by Michael McCoy
July 5, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 27

 

The British specialty polymer maker Synthomer has agreed to acquire US-based Omnova Solutions for about $824 million. Synthomer says the purchase will create a global specialty chemical company with a broad range of polymer chemistries. Synthomer, formerly called Yule Catto, had sales last year of about $2 billion, mainly of aqueous dispersions, specialty additives, and elastomers such as nitrile butadiene rubber. Omnova’s sales were $770 million and included surface treatments, styrene-butadiene paper coatings, and coated fabrics such as wallpaper. Together, according to a Synthomer presentation for analysts, the two firms will create a major player in water-based polymers with strong raw material integration. Synthomer anticipates about $30 million in annual cost savings from delisting Omnova from the stock market and various office and business consolidations. The transaction is a victory for Anne P. Noonan, who joined Omnova in 2014 and became its CEO in late 2016. The firm had been under pressure from an activist investor that sought the sale of its coated fabrics business. Noonan didn’t sell the business, but she did take a number of cost-cutting actions including closing a styrene-butadiene emulsions plant.

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