Chemistry & Life Sciences

Mergers & Acquisitions Are an Integral Strategic Component

Experts Share Their Views on How to Build or Maintain Critical Mass in the Chemical Distribution Industry

02.06.2021 - In the drive to reach growth objectives, or to maintain and enhance “critical mass”, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) has been a theme for the chemical distribution industry for years. The industry leaders (by size and geographic reach) were all built through a series of such transactions. The practice is further trickling down to the smaller and mid-sized company layer of the sector, and more distributors espouse external growth options.

In the drive to reach growth objectives, or to maintain and enhance “critical mass”, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) has been a theme for the chemical distribution industry for years. The industry leaders (by size and geographic reach) were all built through a series of such transactions. As the practice is further trickling down to the smaller and mid-sized company layer of the sector, and more distributors espouse external growth options, it is worthwhile to spend some time on a reflection of recent events in this context.

Although M&A activity has been slowed down to some extent by the Covid-19 pandemic, the basic drivers are still relevant. Thus, it can be expected that industry consolidation will even be accelerated by the effects of the global lockdown that has been causing a global economic crisis, disruptions in international trade, production outages, and thus stressed supply chains.

Other factors such as the digital and ecological transformation of the chemical industry and its impact on value chains, trade conflicts, or Brexit will even increase the need to enhance critical mass and establish more widespread networks — and thus build more resilient businesses.
CHEManager asked executives and industry experts to share their views on the rationale for M&A activity in chemical distribution. We proposed to discuss the following aspects:

  • Have the key drivers for mergers & acquisitions in the chemical distribution industry changed due to the Corona crisis?
  • Will industry consolidation and thus M&A activity continue or even speed up after the Corona crisis?
  • Do you want to play an active role in the industry consolidation, and if so, what is your strategy?


Read the insightful answers of the experts here.

Dennis Verhaert
M&A Director, Azelis

Christian Kohlpaintner
CEO, Brenntag

Felix Thalmann
CEO, Büfa Group

Neville Prior
Group Chairman, Cornelius Group

Thomas Sul and Natale Capri
Co-Heads Business Unit Performance Materials, DKSH

Thomas Dassler
Managing Director, Häffner

Thorsten Harke
President, Harke Group

Frank Schneider
Member of IMCD Group Executive Committee, IMCD

Peter Stockmeier
Managing Partner, Stockmeier Group

Christopher Erbslöh
Managing Director, C.H. Erbslöh

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