Merger for Caldic, Connell Specialty Units


Private equity investment firm Advent International and Wilbur-Ellis announced last week they are merging their life sciences and specialty chemicals businesses, Caldic B.V., and Connell. The latter is a major player in Asia-Pacific, and its products include specialty ingredients used in products such as metalworking fluids and greases.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The combined company will be under the ownership of both Advent and family-owned Wilbur-Ellis. Connell was owned by Wilbur-Ellis, and Caldic by Advent.

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Connell’s product portfolio includes specialty chemicals and ingredients for life science segments, as well as industrial segments, including lubricants. The company said its specialty ingredients serve specific needs within automotive and industrial functions, including metalworking fluid and grease applications. Connell’s products in the lubes category include rust preventative additives, ready-to-use packages, extreme pressure and anti-wear additives and specialty performance materials.

Caldic, a global provider of specialty ingredients and chemicals for the life sciences and industrial formulation markets with a major presence in Europe, North America and Latin America. “Bringing together similar entrepreneurial cultures and complementary geographies reinforces our ambition to establish Caldic as a global growth platform with a significant presence in two high-growth regions – Asia-Pacific and Latin America,” Caldic CEO Alexander Wessels said in a press release.

According to Wilbur’s website, Connell has a team of 1,200 scientists, marketers, supply chain experts and product specialists “who both live and deeply understand the diverse cultures of Asia-Pacific.” The company claims its network of 48 locations in 18 countries makes it the leading marketer and distributor of specialty chemicals in Asia-Pacific.

“With Caldic’s strong global position, and Connell’s 125-year presence in Asia-Pacific, the partnership will immediately establish a global, privately-held specialty chemicals and ingredients distribution leader,” Wilbur-Ellis President and CEO John Buckley said. “The combined organization will provide a broad range of solutions for customers.”

The companies said that with a significant presence in Asia-Pacific, Connell’s strengths lie in its world-class network of principals, combined with technical and marketing expertise, and its extensive presence in local segments.

Wilbur-Ellis companies include marketers, distributors and manufacturers of agricultural products, animal nutrients and specialty chemicals and ingredients.

Advent International focuses on investment in five core sectors, including industrial and chemicals. Apart from Caldic, Advent has invested in over 30 other companies in the chemicals industry over recent years. Those included Rohm, one of the global market leaders in methacrylate chemicals, allnex, a global leader in resins for the paints and coatings industry, Oxea – now OQ Chemicals – a leading supplier of oxo alcohols and oxo derivatives, and Viakem, a leading manufacturer of fine chemicals.