M&As: GTM buys Braskem’s Quantiq; Nexeo acquires Ultra Chem; Accella buys Covestro’s PU foam business in US


GTM Holdings, one of the largest independent distributor of chemical products in Latin America, has paid US$172 million for Brazilian peer Quantiq, formerly owned by Brazilian petrochemicals firm Braskem, in an effort to gain more foothold in the country. This is GTM Holdings, which is owned by private equity firm Advent International Corp, third acquisition since last year.

Quantiq adds a differentiated and fully developed business line to GTM’s existing chemical distribution businesses in Brazil, creating the largest, independent chemical distribution platform in Latin America, said the company. GTM was founded in Guatemala in 1983 and has 12,000 customers in 12 Latin American countries.

Founded in 1991 as Ipiranga Química, Quantiq has a long track record in the chemicals industry. The company has a complete portfolio in commodities, performance and speciality products, 5,000+ clients in 50 different end markets, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and nutrition. Quantiq is the leading chemical distributor in Brazil in a fragmented market where the top ten players have only 30% market share.

Quantiq and GTM will now begin to integrate operations and together will operate 62 distribution centres in 12 countries throughout Latin America with nine application laboratories and serve over 15,000 customers across 50+ different market segments. As a result, GTM’s enlarged platform will now be able to offer customers and suppliers a wider chemical distribution network and a broader, more innovative product range based on technologies, it says.

According to a Reuters report, mergers and acquisitions among Latin America's chemical and industrial companies are poised to gain traction this year, as two years of a deep downturn and an ongoing recovery in global prices are making some targets attractive for large global players.

In turn, Braskem, which recently signed a leniency deal with Brazilian and US authorities over its involvement in a graft and bribery scandal in Brazil, could be looking to divest assets as it seeks to cut costs. Braskem says the sale of Quantiq is in line with its strategy of reinforcing the focus on petrochemical operations.

Meanwhile in the US, chemical distributor Nexeo Solutions has completed the acquisition of Ultra Chem, a speciality chemicals distribution business based in Mexico City, Mexico. This acquisition expands Nexeo Solutions’ presence in speciality chemicals in Mexico and Latin America.

Aligned with Nexeo Solutions' M&A objectives, the 17-year old Ultra Chem is a strong cultural fit with a leading market position and technical sales force, says Nexeo. “The acquisition improves overall speciality mix, introduces food and beverage as a new end market and expands Nexeo Solutions’ presence with speciality chemicals in Mexico and Latin America. Following the close of this transaction, operations will continue out of Ultra Chem's existing facilities,” said Nexeo.

In other news, Accella Polyurethane Systems, which is owned by private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners, has completed the purchase of certain assets of the North American spray polyurethane foam (SPF) business located in Spring, TX, from Covestro LLC. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

"This acquisition will significantly improve Accella's position in the spray polyurethane foam market and is another strategic step with our positive track record combining the best polyurethane based companies in the industry. The addition of a well-rounded product technology portfolio and a team of highly regarded industry experts will highly complement our current spray polyurethane foam business," said Andy Harris, President/CEO of Accella.

The Covestro Spring, TX facility includes both commercial and production operations, serving North America as a leading producer of spray polyurethane foam, which is used as insulation and roofing in the construction of commercial buildings and residential homes.


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