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In a big merger of chemical distributors, Univar is buying Nexeo Solutions for cash and stock valued at $2.0 billion. During the trailing 12 months, Univar made $635 million pretax on $8.5 billion in sales. Nexeo’s pretax earnings were $208 million on $4.0 billion in sales. About half of Nexeo’s sales come from plastics distribution, a business that Univar will consider divesting. Univar management hopes that the purchase will yield $100 million in annual operating cost savings and $15 million in annual capital expenditure savings.
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