Superior Plus Seeks Sale of Specialty Chemicals
Canada’s Superior Plus is considering selling its specialty chemicals business, which trades as ERCO Worldwide, as it seeks to become a pure play energy business focused on retail propane distribution.
The company has hired Barclays Capital Canada to assist with a potential sale.
“We expect specialty chemicals will be highly marketable, attracting strong buyer interest and an attractive valuation,” said president and CEO Luc Desjardins. He added, however, that should its specialty chemicals division not realize an “acceptable valuation, Superior would be “very comfortable” in continuing to own the business.
ERCO Worldwide is focused on the production and supply of sodium chlorate and chloralkali products, laying claim to being the second largest producer of sodium chlorate both in North America and worldwide. The company operates eight production plants in North America and one in Chile.
If the specialty chemicals business is sold, Superior expects to use the proceeds primarily to reduce debt and to invest in US propane distribution acquisitions. It added, however, that dependent on a number of factors, it could also use some of the funds to purchase Superior common shares.
“Upon completion of any sale, we anticipate accelerating our US energy distribution growth program where we are confident we can deliver significant value as we apply our operating model to the acquired businesses and realize significant synergies,” Desjardins said.
During the past 12 months, Superior has purchased several propane distributors, notably Phelps Sungas, Musco Fuel & Propane, United Liquid Gas, Porco Energy and NGL Propane.