Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions


Below is just over a year’s worth of mergers, acquisitions and joint venture activity in the lubricants industry, as reported in our weekly Lube Report Americas, Lube Report EMEA and Lube Report Asia newsletters, as well as our monthly magazine Lubes’n’Greases.

Dates show the month the transaction was announced or completed. For more details, see our publication archives.

November 2022

Shell + Panolin Group

Shell agreed to acquire the environmentally considerate lubricants business of Panolin Group, a transaction enabling it to increase supply of products with potential exposure to sensitive ecosystems. Panolin, which is headquartered in Madetswil, Switzerland, would retain its factory in that village outside Zurich and will continue supplying conventional and food-grade lubricants in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Under terms of the deal, Shell will acquire the Panolin brand, product formulations for environmentally considerate lubricants, intellectual property, technical expertise and technology, along with the international customer base. Panolin said all employees involved in the business being acquired are expected to join Shell. Shell said it expects to fully integrate the business into its global lubricants business within two years after completion of the sale.

Greif + Lee Container Corp.

Industrial packaging supplier Greif Inc. said that it has reached a $300 million deal to acquire Lee Container Corp., a producer of blow-molded jerrycans and other containers used for lubricants and other industries. Greif, which is a major supplier of steel and plastic drums to the lubricants industry, said the acquisition increase its sales of smaller plastic containers.

December 2022

Dussur + Italmatch

Saudi investment firm Dussur has agreed to buy a minority stake in Italmatch Chemicals, a growing Italy-based company that supplies esters and chemical additives for a range of lubricants. The companies did not disclose how much Dussur has agreed to pay, but Bain said in a news release that the Saudi firm “is expected” to own less than 20% of Italmatch after seeding an additional investment of €100 million to Italmatch. Bain will retain control of the shares not possessed by Dussur.

Pennzoil-Quaker State + Allied Reliability Inc.

Shell, through its subsidiary Pennzoil-Quaker State, acquired the parent company of Allied Reliability Inc., an industrial services and maintenance products provider which also provides lubrication systems and components. The move expands Shell’s North American lubricants business into a more service-driven sector. Allied Reliability is under the umbrella of TFH Reliability Group. Allied Reliability will be an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Shell and fully consolidated within Shell’s lubricants marketing business.

Shell + Blue Tide Environmental

Shell announced that its Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. purchased a 49% interest in Blue Tide Environmental LLC, which plans to bring a Group II rerefinery onstream in Texas in 2024. Shell called the acquisition part of its effort to develop a circular economy for lubricants and improve the sustainability of its products. The price was not disclosed.

January 2023

Colonial Oil Industries + Strickland Oil

Savannah, Georgia-based distributor Colonial Oil Industries Inc. acquired Strickland Oil, which distributes commercial fuel and lubricants in Savannah and the surrounding area.

February 2023

IMCD South Africa + CPS Chemical Oil Tech

Specialty chemicals and ingredients distributor IMCD South Africa signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of CPS Chemical Oil Tech (Pty), a Durban, South Africa-based distributor of raw materials to the petroleum, additives and grease industries. Transaction closing was subject to conditions and regulatory approval.

Engen + Vivo Energy

Engen and Vivo Energy will combine their respective African businesses to create one of Africa’s largest energy distribution companies, the companies announced. It expands on an existing working relationship, including Vivo’s distribution of Engen-branded lubricants throughout much of Africa. The combined group will have over 3,900 service stations and more than two billion liters of storage capacity across 27 African countries. At the combination’s completion, Malaysia’s Petronas will sell its 74% shareholding in Engen to Vivo Energy. The Phembani Group, Petronas’ longstanding partner in Africa and Engen’s B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) Shareholder, will remain a 21% shareholder in the South African business.

Univar Solutions + ChemSol Group

Univar Solutions acquired ChemSol Group, an ingredients and specialty chemicals distributor operating in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Honduras. Univar said the acquisition will enhance its geographic footprint in Central America as well as its formulation and commercial offering across several key growth markets, including lubricants and metalworking fluids.

Motorex + Spectro Performance Oils

Motorex USA Inc. acquired Intercontinental Lubricants Corp.’s Spectro Performance Oils business. The deal gives Motorex the domestic and international operations of Spectro along with a blending and storage facility. The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.

March 2023

KLK Oleo + Temix Oleo

KLK Oleo acquired a controlling stake in Italian oleochemical producer Temix Oleo, the companies announced. The move expands KLK Oleo’s capabilities for manufacturing esters for base oils and lubricants. Milan-based Temix Oleo offers ester base stocks for metalworking fluids, along with hydraulic fluids, along with other applications such as plastics and cosmetics. It operates a plant in Calderara, Italy, with capacity to produce 25,000 metric tons per year of esters. Its products come mostly from plant oils, and it states that it taps a variety of types of plants according to market developments.

RelaDyne + Allied Oil + Grupo Lucalza

RelaDyne announced its acquisition of lubricants and diesel exhaust fluids distributor Allied Oil, based in Omaha, Nebraska. Allied Oil operates out of seven distribution centers spread across six states and services 11 states in the upper Midwestern United States. RelaDyne also expanded into the South American market with the acquisition of Grupo Lucalza.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. + Valvoline Inc.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. completed its acquisition of Valvoline Inc.’s global products business for $2.7 billion, through one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Aramco now owns the Valvoline brand with respect to the products business, and Valvoline Inc. owns the Valvoline brand with respect to its retail services business. The companies said they plan to work together to continue to grow the Valvoline brand equity globally.

April 2023

Groupe Berkem + Biopress

French biobased chemistry company Groupe Berkem announced the completion of its acquisition of Biopress, a French producer of vegetable oils—which are used in lubricants and surfactants applications—and proteins. Terms were not disclosed. The group said the acquisition will add to its value chain the sourcing of a raw material essential to its activities in integrating plant-based chemistry. Biopress is located near Groupe Berkem’s plant in Gardonne, in the southwest of France, and will also provide significant new storage space for future growth. Groupe Berkem said that as a result of the acquisition it will be able to expand its production capacity and ensure processing of more than 8,000 tons of plants per year.

RelaDyne + Suncoast Resources

Cincinnati, Ohio-based distributor RelaDyne announced it is combining with Houston-based lubricants and fuels distributor Suncoast Resources, materially expanding RelaDyne’s market share and geographic coverage throughout Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and the Carolinas.

May 2023

Slicker Recycling + Oil Monster

Waste oil collector Slicker Recycling Ltd. acquired competitor Oil Monster for an undisclosed sum. The purchase further strengthens Slicker’s position as the United Kingdom’s leading waste oil collector. Slicker collects and recycles 75 million liters (67,000 metric tons) of used oil and hazardous workshop waste annually, capturing a market share of more than 20%. The acquisition of Oil Monster’s team will include 13 people and a fleet of 10 trucks. As part of the Oil Monster deal, the business, which Slicker Recycling has acquired from Cleansing Service Group Ltd., will retain its brand identity.

Etna Products Inc. + JTM Products’ MWF Line

Chagrin Falls, Ohio-headquartered Etna Products Inc., which develops and produces lubricants for non-ferrous metal drawing and stamping operations, acquired Solon, Ohio-based JTM Products’ metalworking fluids line as part of its ongoing growth plans. Terms were not disclosed. Etna President Mike Washington said the JTM metalworking product line brings technology and a distribution network that represent core competencies that are a “great fit” with Etna’s manufacturing and research and development center.

Amsoil + Benz Oil

Superior, Wisconsin-based Amsoil Inc. acquired fellow Wisconsin lube blender Benz Oil. The move expands Amsoil’s portfolio of lubricant and metalworking fluid production capabilities. Benz Oil, headquartered in Milwaukee, makes cutting and grinding metalworking fluids, process fluids, heat-transfer fluids and other specialty fluids. The company’s facilities, including its sales, oil analysis laboratory, and manufacturing and distribution sites, will be rebranded under the Amsoil name.

June 2023

IMCD + Brylchem

IMCD signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of the specialty distribution company Brylchem Pte. and the business of Chemipac Pte. and CMS Marketing Trading Co. in Vietnam for an undisclosed amount. Brylchem Group, as they are jointly known, offers lubricants and other products in Singapore and Vietnam.

Indian Oil Corp. + Golchha Group

Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. and Nepal’s Golchha Group signed a joint venture agreement to manufacture lubricants in the Himilayan country to cater to the domestic market. The companies will jointly set up a lubricant blending plant in Nepal with an investment of around 70 crore Indian rupees (Rs 700 million or U.S. $ 8.5 million). The lubricants that it makes will be marketed under Indian Oil’s Servo brand.

RelaDyne + Michigan Petroleum Technologies

RelaDyne acquired Michigan Petroleum Technologies, a petroleum distributor focused on the industrial manufacturing lubricant market that also meets fuel and lubrication requirements for construction and fleet purposes.

July 2023

J.F. Lehman & Co. + Heritage-Crystal Clean

Heritage-Crystal Clean, owner of North America’s second-largest rerefinery, announced an agreement to be bought by private equity firm J.F. Lehman & Co. for $1.2 billion. Lehman officials suggested that the value of businesses that treat and recycle waste has risen during the sustainability movement.

August 2023

Alkemia SGR + Pakelo Motor Oil

An Italian mutual funds investment firm acquired a majority stake in Italian lubricants and greases producer Pakelo Motor Oil, which said the deal will help enable it to build its international distribution network. Terms were not disclosed. Alkemia SGR, with a joint investment by Italian bank Banco Ifis, indirectly acquired a majority stake in Pakelo. Alkemia took over the shares of Alberto, Aldo and Rino Polacco, who simultaneously reinvested a significant minority share in the company. CEO and Chairman of the Board Alberto Polacco will lead the company and ensure the continuity of its management by holding the same role.

Process Oils Inc. + MOGoil

An Ergon subsidiary Process Oils Inc. has acquired MOGoil, a major base oil trader in Europe. The transaction greatly boosts the European presence of the American refiner, which is the world’s largest producer of naphthenic base stocks as well as a significant asphalt supplier in the United States. The companies did not disclose the price of the deal.

Moresco + Cross Technologies

Japanese specialty lubricant manufacturer Moresco Corp. expanded its die casting lubricant market and production capabilities with the acquisition of Michigan-based Cross Technologies Group for an estimated $8.8 million. Moresco’s subsidiary, Moresco USA, will set up another subsidiary to take over the business of Cross Technologies. Apart from securing a new production base in the U.S, the acquisition will help Moresco expand its business in the U.S., China, Taiwan and India.

September 2023

Moresco Corp. + Wuxi MoreTex Technology

Japanese specialty lubricant producer Moresco Corp. said that it will buy out its partner in a specialty lubricant joint venture in Wuxi, China, becoming sole owner of Wuxi MoreTex Technology. The price of the acquisition was ¥453 million (U.S. $3 million).

Valvoline + Haertol Chemie GmbH

Valvoline Global has made an equity investment in Haertol Chemie GmbH, a German manufacturer of automotive antifreeze. Valvoline, which was bought this year by Saudi Aramco, did not disclose the size of its investment nor how much of a stake it had taken in Haertol. The investment expands on a five-year-old relationship between the two companies. Since 2018, they have engaged in a licensing and distribution arrangement under which Valvoline carries Haertol products, including its Frostox HT-12 premium coolant, and Haertol offers Valvoline products.

Soltex + DSI Ventures

Aiming to expand its offerings for dielectric fluids and other electrical insulating lubricants and coolants, chemical manufacturer and distributor Soltex Inc. acquired DSI Ventures. A news release distributed by Woodlands, Texas-based Soltex did not disclose the price of the deal nor DSI’s revenues.

Saudi Aramco + Esmax Distribusción

Saudi Aramco is entering the South American lubricants market after fully acquiring Chilean blender, distributor and retailer Esmax Distribusción SpA. The acquisition is the company’s first downstream retail investment within the continent. The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed. State-owned Aramco purchased Esmax from Latin America-focused private equity company Southern Cross Group. Its operations include a lubricant blending plant and distribution terminals, along with retail fuel stations and airport operations.

RelaDyne + Great Lakes Lubricants

Reladyne purchased Michigan-based Great Lakes Lubricants, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and supplies lubricants mainly to commercial fleets and manufacturing customers in and around the state. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Fuchs + Fuchs Lubricants SpA

Independent lubricant manufacturer Fuchs Petrolub bought out its partner in a joint venture distributorship in Chile. The acquisition is part of the German company’s strategy to strengthen its presence in South America.

October 2023

Shell + M&I Materials Product Lines

Shell Lubricants acquired two product lines from United Kingdom-based M&I Materials Ltd. – one for synthetic and ester-based transformer fluids and the other for electric vehicle battery coolants. The transformer fluids are sold under the Midel brand name and includes products made from rapeseed and soybean esters. The coolants are sold under the Mivolt brand and are dielectric fluids also made from esters. In addition to the electric vehicle market, they are also sold for data centers.

November 2023

Wafi Energy + Shell’s Pakistan Operations

Shell agreed to sell its operations in Pakistan to Wafi Energy, a fuels retailer in Saudi Arabia. The deal includes the British energy giant’s lubricant business in Pakistan, which holds a significant market share, but Wafi will continue to market finished lubes under Shell’s brands. Shell owns 77.42% of Shell Pakistan Ltd. The companies did not disclose the price of the transaction, which was described as a share purchase agreement, but noted that it is subject to regulatory approvals and that they expect it to close during the fourth quarter of 2024.

Sime Darby Berhard + UMW Holdings

Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby Berhard received shareholder approval for its proposal to acquire majority ownership of another Malaysian conglomerate, UMW Holdings Bhd, whose operations include lubricant blending plants in Malaysia and China. The transaction amounts to a consolidation of Permodalan Nasional Berhad, as the fund manager is the largest stakeholder in Sime Darby and UMW. The acquisition was the purchase of PNB’s 61.2% stake in UMW. Sime Darby is paying 3.57 billion ringgit (U.S. $763 million).

Trecora + Chemtrade

Petrochemical manufacturer Trecora LLC announced that it has acquired the lubricant additives business of Chemtrade, which it called a leading manufacturer phosphorus pentasulfide. The new segment will be integrated into the specialty chemicals business of Woodlands, Texas-based Trecora.  

December 2023

IMCD N.V. + Guangzhou RBD Chemical Co.

Rotterdam, Netherlands-based IMCD N.V. signed an agreement to acquire the business of specialty distribution company Guangzhou RBD Chemical Co., marking IMCD China’s entry into China’s lubricants market. RBD focuses mainly on lubricant additives and represents leading global suppliers, generating revenue of about ¥75 million (€10 million) in 2022.

Azelis + Localpack S.A.

Azelis signed an agreement to acquire Localpack S.A., a specialty chemical distributor active in Colombia. Among other products, Localpack distributes polyalphaolefin and synthetic esters, viscosity index improvers and additive packages and components for greases and lubricants.

Saudi Aramco + Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd.

Saudi Aramco signed definitive agreements to acquire a 40% equity stake in Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd., a diversified downstream fuels, lubricants and convenience stores operator, in part to expand the market for its Valvoline subsidiary’s lubricants. The cost was not disclosed for the transaction, which is subject to conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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