Funds advised by Apax Partners receive binding offer for Azelis

Azelis, a leading global speciality chemicals and food ingredients distributor, announced earlier this week that Funds advised by Apax Partners, the global private equity advisory firm, have received a binding offer and have entered into exclusive discussions to sell Azelis to the EQT VIII fund and PSP Investments. 

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, and other conditions including consultation with employee representatives, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Established in 2001, Azelis is a leading global speciality chemicals and food ingredients distributor providing a diverse range of products and innovative services to more than 43,000 customers in over 40 countries worldwide. 

Azelis provides a high value-add technical sales force to help service its key suppliers (“Principals”), providing substantial market coverage to its customers across a multitude of market segments. 

Customers benefit from Azelis’ technical expertise, which aids the development of a customers’ product portfolio to suit their applications. 

In addition, Azelis operates over 50 of its own application laboratories, offering innovative formulations for Azelis' customers.

Since the Apax Funds’ investment in Azelis, the company has successfully executed on its targeted growth strategy through focusing the business on product development and innovation, as well as developing its M&A platform. 

Over the course of the last three years, Azelis has more than doubled revenue and tripled EBITDA. 

Since the acquisition of Azelis by Funds advised by Apax Partners, the company has undertaken nine acquisitions to broaden its geographic reach and product offering, the most significant being the 2015 acquisition of Koda Distribution Group whose North American presence was complementary to Azelis’ European and Asian reach. 

This transformational acquisition facilitated the expansion of Azelis into a truly global player with the ability to serve Principals and customers at a global, regional and local level, with an expanded suite of services.

Dr Hans-Joachim Müller, CEO of Azelis, said: “I would like to thank Apax for their support, which has enabled Azelis to expand its global footprint in EMEA, Americas and Asia Pacific, delivering sustainable growth and strong results. 

"Going forward, our strategy is to continue to leverage our diversified business model. 

"We have had the chance to get to know EQT and are thrilled to see that they share our values of entrepreneurship, high performance and respect. 

"This new proposal represents an opportunity to facilitate our expansion plans and further accelerate the fantastic growth we have enjoyed with Apax.”

 Frank Ehmer, Partner at Apax Partners, added: “We would like to thank Hans-Joachim and all his team for being excellent partners over the last three years. 

"The ability of the company to drive above-market organic growth, as well as both tuck-in and transformational M&A, has allowed Azelis to deliver on its potential of becoming a truly global market leader. 

"In doing so, Azelis has successfully positioned itself as a distributor of choice for a number of its strategic Principals, globally.”

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