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Equity firm plans acquisition of Emerald

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NEW YORK—American Securities L.L.C. and members of Emerald Performance Materials L.L.C.'s management team plan to purchase the specialty chemicals maker from an affiliate of Sun Capital Inc.

A producer of chemicals for a range of niche consumer and industrial markets—including tires, structural adhesives, coatings, composites, flooring, personal, flavors and fragrances, and food and beverages—the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based firm operates eight facilities and employs about 750.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial details and the names of the members of the management team involved in the purchase were not disclosed.

New York-headquartered American Securities decided to become involved in the acquisition because “Emerald represents a compelling investment opportunity and leverages our industry knowledge and track record in the specialty chemicals sector,” Scott M. Wolff, managing director of American Securities, said in a prepared statement.

Emerald offers attractive growth opportunities, defensible market positions and a diverse portfolio of high quality business for American Securities, he said, adding that the company looks forward to “partnering with the seasoned (Emerald) management team to drive business performance.”

During the last several years, Emerald has been diversifying its operations and brands, achieving a consistent record of annual revenue growth, said Candace M. Wagner, president and chief financial officer of Emerald.

It has built a solid family of market leading brands, she said, along with a solid customer base during that span.

She said Emerald's focus is on producing the highest quality products available in the markets it serves, strengthening its operating focus and exploring other initiatives to further expand its business.

Emerald's most recent expansion came in late 2013 when the company's Emerald Polymer Additives and Nitriles business group completed construction of a pilot plant at its Akron production site to expand its range of Nychem specialty nitrile and butadiene emulsion products.

The new operation features a 100-gallon pilot reactor and advanced research and development facilities, company officials said at the time.

Emerald's Kalama Chemical L.L.C. business group also completed a capacity expansion at its Kalama, Wash., plant for its L-Flex line—used in adhesives, PVC compounds, coatings and other latex polymer applications—in June 2013, its second expansion for the non-phthalate plasticizer at the facility since 2011.