Platform Closes Arysta Sale, Changes Leadership

01.02.2019 -

Platform Specialty Products has announced a shake-up of its management team in advance of its relaunch as electronic and specialty chemicals company Element Solutions. The relaunch will take place once the $4.2 billion sale of its agricultural division Arysta LifeScience to UPL Corp. (formerly known as United Phosphorus Ltd.) closes on Jan. 31.

Arysta said the deal will create a new agricultural powerhouse with UPL becoming the fifth largest crop protection company in the world. UPL expects the acquisition, which was announced in July 2018, to yield annual synergies of more than $200 million.

“The close of the Arysta transaction will represent a major milestone for Platform. Following the closing, we will have achieved the separation we have been working on since 2017 to create a less levered, more nimble and more focused business,” said CEO Rakesh Sachdev, who will step down from his position, though he will remain on Element’s board.

Benjamin Gliklich, Platform’s executive vice president of operations and strategy, will take over as CEO of Element. Scot Benson, president of Platform’s MacDermid Performance Solutions subsidiary, has been appointed Element’s president and chief operating officer.

Commenting on the launch of Element, Gliklich said: “As a more focused enterprise with a vastly improved capital structure, we will balance operational excellence and prudent capital allocation. This means investing behind our fastest growing markets, maintaining our leadership in technology and service, and managing costs aggressively, as well as measured acquisitions on an opportunistic basis where we have market expertise and synergies.”

Element will operate two divisions: electronics, and industrial & specialty. Looking ahead, Gliklich said he expects the weakness in the Asian economy, especially in China, and the deceleration of global electronics and automotive markets to persist in 2019. Nonetheless, the company is anticipating growth of between 1% and 3% in organic net sales for 2019 along with an increase of between 5% and 8% in adjusted EBITDA (on a constant currency basis).