NEW YORK—SK Capital Partners is creating a major additives player with its latest acquisition.
The firm agreed to purchase SI Group for an undisclosed price. Based in Schenectady, N.Y., SI produces plasticizers, flame retardants and antioxidants with more than $1 billion in sales, 2,800 employees and 20 global manufacturing facilities.
SK will take SI and combine it with its Addivant business, which is based in Danbury, Conn., and consists of 11 worldwide manufacturing locations. It generates about $500 million in sales and employs 435.
The deal still is pending regulatory approvals, but SK Managing Director Jack Norris expects it to be approved in the fourth quarter.
"What we see here is an opportunity to create a powerhouse in additives for a variety of very attractive, high-margin and high-growth applications," he said. "That includes both plastics and rubber. That great positioning in additives is enhanced by backwards integration into key intermediates, giving us a strong cost position and a variety of advantages as we think about bringing additional solutions to the marketplace."
SI's business is split into three main industries, the largest being additives for rubber, oilfield, and fuel and lube applications making up about 56 percent of the material margin, according to President and CEO Frank Bozich.
Chemical intermediates accounts for about 37 percent, and the remainder is a niche pharmaceutical business that produces ibuprofen, propanol and other precursor molecules for that industry.
Bozich said SI became available because of an ownership transition. The firm has been family owned for 110 years and as the final member of the third generation stepped down, the fourth-generation owners decided it was time to test the market, forming the deal with SK.
"The transition to SK Capital ownership is going to unlock a lot of pent-up earnings growth we've had in the company because of their ability and appetite to invest in growing the business," Bozich said. "As a private, family-owned company where the shareholders were dependent on constant dividend stream for their equity, SK Capital really brings a new lens to investment and how we expand."
The deal makes sense on a number of levels, namely that SI is Addivant's top supplier. John Steitz, president and CEO of Addivant, said the most exciting opportunities occur from Addivant being able to leverage SI's intermediates portfolio to new extremes.