Saudi’s Dussur Buys into Italmatch Chemicals

13.12.2022 - Dussur, the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company, has agreed to buy a stake in Italian specialty additives manufacturer Italmatch Chemicals from private equity group Bain Capital. The Riyadh-based group will also invest €100 million in Italmatch as a capital increase.

Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to take place during the first half of 2023, were not disclosed. Dussur’s shareholding in Italmatch is expected to be below 20%.

Italmatch’s CEO Sergio Iorio commented: “Partnering with Dussur will significantly strengthen our existing presence in the Middle East region, which we see as a fast-growing market opportunity in our areas of expertise and end markets and enable us to expand our offering in a highly strategic high growth market also through a strong local presence.”

Italmatch runs four key business units: Advanced Water Solutions, Lubricant Performance Additives, Flame Retardants and Plastic Additives, and Personal Care and Performance Additives. It employs roughly 1,100 workers and operates nine manufacturing plants in Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK, Poland and Saudi Arabia, five across China, Japan and India, along with five in the US.

Bain Capital bought the Genoa-based group in 2018, growing Italmatch’s R&D and new product development, and investing in strategic greenfield developments and synergistic acquisitions.

In June this year, Italmatch announced the purchase of Aubin Group, a Scottish supplier of chemical solutions for the oil and gas industry with offices across the UK and the Middle East. In October, the Italian company also started building a second flame retardants manufacturing plant in China, expanding capacity of its Phoslite range. 

According to Bain, its four-year ownership has resulted in a more than twofold rise in Italmatch’s EBITDA (last 12 months adjusted), from €67 million in September 2018 to €160 million in September 2022.

David Danon, Bain Capital’s managing director, said Dussur’s investment is “both a recognition of Italmatch’s significant growth to date and potential to strengthen its capabilities and geographical reach, particularly to new customers in the Middle East.”

Dussur is owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, Saudi Aramco and SABIC. In March 2022, as part of an international consortium, Dussur purchased DuPont’s Clean Technologies Business for $510 million. The business has been renamed Elessent Clean Technologies. Dussur now stakes claim to being a global leader in chemical catalysts and advanced equipment, specializing in environmental sustainability technologies in the metals, fertilizer, chemicals and oil refining sectors.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist