Private Equity Firm to Absorb Italmatch


Bain Capital Private Equity announced an agreement last week to buy Italmatch Chemicals S.p.A., a lubricant additive supplier that has been on its own acquisition tear.

Bain is buying Italmatch from Ardian, another private equity firm that has owned the Genoa, Italy-based company for four years. Terms were not disclosed. Bain officials suggested that they plan to provide Italmatch with funds to continue its shopping spree.

Leveraging our experience in the chemicals sector and our global presence, we look forward to supporting [Italmatch founder and CEO] Sergio Iorio and the rest of the management team to continue growing the company, both organically and through an ambitious plan of strategic acquisitions, Bain Managing Director Ivano Sessa said in a press release.

Italmatch was founded in 1997 and supplies chemicals for lubricants along with three other industries: water treatment, oil and gas, and plastics. Historically it focused on sulfur-based chemistries, supplying materials such as phosphorus pentasulfide, which is used by the lubricants industry to make zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), a popular antiwear and antioxidation agent.

But the company branched out through several acquisitions. In December it acquired Elco Corp., a U.S. supplier of metalworking fluid additives, including sulfur-based extreme pressure additives. In March it closed on the acquisition of Chinese phosphonates supplier Jiayou Chemical, and in May it bought Afton Chemicals metalworking fluids business.

Italmatch also makes esters, thanks to the acquisitions of Akzo Nobels synthetic esters plant in Arese (Milan), Italy, in 2007 and the purchase of Union Derivan and its natural esters plant in Zaragoza, Spain, in 2012.

Italmatch now has 17 factories across Europe, North America and Asia. In 2017 it had sales revenue of 400 million (U.S. $465 million).

London-based Bain is a bit larger than Ardian, managing assets of $95 billion compared to $71 billion for Paris-based Ardian. Bain also has more operations in the chemicals industry and is more global, as Ardians portfolio is weighted toward Europe.

Related Topics

Regulations    Regulations Specs & Testing