Current Issue

Synthomer to buy Hexion adhesives, coatings business

Comments Email

HARLOW, England—Synthomer P.L.C., the world's biggest producer of nitrile rubber used in medical gloves, has agreed to buy an adhesives and coatings business from Hexion Inc. for $226 million to drive its expansion in the U.S. and Asia.

Hexion is a global chemical company based in Columbus, Ohio.

The purchase adds seven factories generating annual sales of $370 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $30 million, the Harlow-based company said in a statement.

Synthomer is paying a multiple of 7.5 times earnings, excluding estimated annualized cost savings from integrating the business of about $12 million.

Hexion PAC develops, manufactures and markets a wide array of dispersions, additives, powder coatings and specialty monomers, supplying customers for applications including coatings, adhesives and for building and construction.

The business employs approximately 750 and operates seven sites across Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

In 2015, Hexion PAC generated sales of about $370 million and EBITDA of approximately $30 million. Synthomer said it will retain Hexion PAC's existing leadership team.

The deal is the first since the arrival last year of CEO Calum MacLean, who spent two decades helping to build Ineos into one of the world's top chemical companies with $54 billion in sales by acquiring the unwanted assets of oil majors such as BP P.L.C.

“The acquisition of Hexion PAC represents a further step forward in our strategy to continue to grow and develop the business,” MacLean said in a statement.

“This acquisition strengthens our platform for continued growth in the global dispersions and additives market, and in particular expands our presence in the U.S. and Asia. Hexion PAC has a good performance track record and shares our commitment to innovation and emphasis on strong customer relationships.”

Synthomer, which is looking to diversify its business away from more cyclical markets, also announced the sale of a unit to Ferro S.A. in South Africa for $19 million.

“Hexion PAC fits extremely well into the Synthomer portfolio,” Harry Philips, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity in London, said in a note.

He said the price was attractive. “This leaves plenty of scope for further M&A activity.”