Croda and Synthomer Eyeing Deals?

25.08.2016 -

UK specialty chemicals players Croda and Synthomer are eyeing bolt-on acquisitions as well as larger transformational deals, the chief executives of the two companies have told the UK business newspaper Financial Times (FT). Calum MacLean, CEO of synthetic rubber Synthomer, which has a market value of £1.3 billion, said he wants to double the size of the group “within two to three years,” foremostly through organic growth and R&D in existing business, adding that “we are quite ambitious to grow by M&A as well.”

MacLean, former right-hand man of Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe, said Synthomer, the world’s biggest maker of nitrile rubber used in medical gloves, is also  “looking at adjacent opportunities in specialty chemicals” worth a maximum of €1 billion. In March, the company announced plans to acquire an adhesives and coatings business from US-based Hexion for $226 million.

Croda’s chief executive, Steve Foots, told the FT his company is concentrating on bolt-on deals providing access to new niches or established areas with fast-growing technologies.

Foots said the specialty chemicals producer valued at £4.5 billion has four “bigger, transformational” targets on its wish list and is prepared to look at transactions above £1bn, which he called  “one-in-a-decade, one-in-a-generation events.” In December 2015, Croda paid €155 million for Incotec, a Dutch company engaged in seed enhancement, an area the  British firm has identified as key for its crop care business.

Some analysts have questioned the ability of both companies to find larger deals, given their specialty positions in niche market segments. With the British currency’s sharp decline following the Jun. 23 vote to quit the EU, Croda has been identified as one of several UK-listed companies viewed as potential takeover targets for overseas buyers. However, Foots said the company is “passionate” about its independence,” and is “always looking to expand.”