Advent-Lanxess Materials JV Takes Shape

11.10.2022 - The planned 60:40 specialty materials joint venture of German chemical producer and private equity group Advent International, announced at the end of May, is gradually taking on visible contours.

At the start of the week, the future partners unveiled the global business structure of the company with around €3 billion in annual sales, as well as the management team that will report to CEO-designate Calum McLean, whose appointment was announced in September.

Former executives of the Lanxess High-Performance Materials segment (HPM) and DSM Engineering Plastics (DEM) will steer the activities that are to form the core of the as yet unnamed plastics specialist. The new chief financial officer, Stephen Bennett, comes from outside the sector.

On the top management team, Peter-Hanjo Homberg, currently employed by Lanxess, will serve as the company’s executive vice president (EVP) for Strategy and Transformation, while Anneleen Drieskens (currently DSM) will take the job of EVP Human Resources. Caroline Mitterlehner (DSM) will be EVP for Performance Materials, and Peter Henrichfreise (Lanxess) has been named EVP for Specialty Materials. The position of EV Intermediates is as yet unfilled.

The shareholders’ committee (supervisory board) will consist of Ronald Ayles, managing partner of Advent International, Matthias Zachert, CEO of Lanxess, and Roeland Polet, currently president of DEM. Other members will be nominated at a later stage, the companies said.

Structurally, the new business will have three global divisions: Performance Materials (comprising DEM Performance Polymers and HPM Engineering Plastics); Specialty Materials (DEM Specialties and HPM Tepex) and Intermediates (HPM Intermediates and DEM Polymer & Films). Advent and Lanxess said the activities will be geared toward the specific market characteristics of their products.

The three divisions will possess a number of central functions, which are due to take definitive shape farther down the road.  A “small head office” in the vicinity of Düsseldorf, Germany, will be supported by the predecessors’ existing locations at Geleen, The Netherlands (DEM) and Dormagen, Germany (Lanxess’ HPM).

With what its backers see as the “highly complementary” portfolio the two plastics business contribute, the combined company expects to be one of the leading suppliers to the automotive, electronics, electrical and consumer goods segments, with a particular focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable products.

“Preparation of an integrated face to the market of the combined businesses and the appointment of the first designated senior executives is a major step to hitting the ground running on completion,” commented CEO designate MacLean, an Ineos veteran. “Likewise,” he said, "the envisaged shareholders’ committee brings a wealth of experience from Advent and the heritage DSM and Lanxess organizations.”

The DSM plastics activities became part of the plans for the new joint venture when Advent and Lanxess clinched a carefully constructed €3.7 deal to acquire the relevant activities of the Dutch group, which is re-inventing itself as a life science player.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist