Brenntag Buys Chinese Specialties Distributor Saifu

21.06.2023 - Brenntag is to acquire Chinese distributor Shanghai Saifu Chemical Development for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close later this year.

Saifu distributes personal care ingredients, coatings, emulsion polymerization, and cleaning chemicals, generating revenue of €71 million in 2022. The company has more than 100 employees, serving over 1,000 customers in the Greater China region, and operates two laboratories and a dedicated technology application center.

“We are taking great strides with the execution of our ‘Strategy to Win’ and growing in attractive markets, especially within the life sciences sector,” said Michael Friede, chief operating officer of Brenntag Specialties. “Joining forces with Saifu in China is a significant step, expanding our global specialties footprint in the region and in the Asian personal care market and strengthening our value-added services offering and innovation capabilities.”

In March, Brenntag started commercial operations at a new site in China, located in Zhangjiagang, not far from Shanghai. The German multinational distributor now operates four sites in China, from North (Cangzhou, Hebei province) to East (Zhangjiagang) to South (Dongguang, Guangdong province) and Southwest China (Chongqing), which it said form “an excellent foundation” to grow its business in the coming years.

Brenntag’s board picks beat out activist challengers

In separate news, the majority of shareholders at the annual general meeting on Jun. 15 voted for Brenntag’s two candidates for its supervisory board — Richard Ridinger and Sujatha Chandrasekaran. The supervisory board also elected Ridinger as chairman.

The vote no doubt dealt a blow to activist investors Engine and PrimeStone, which last month openly rejected Brenntag’s proposed candidates and urged shareholders to support PrimeStone’s nominations.

Ridinger commented: “We will continue to monitor and accompany Brenntag’s decisive strategic transformation and execution of its growth strategy with its incrementally more independent global divisions to achieve long-term value creation for all our stakeholders. We will remain committed to an open and constructive dialogue with all our investors.”

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist