Mason Wells Looks to Specialty Chemicals

Milwaukee-based private equity firm Mason Wells has partnered with Doug MacRae to seek and acquire a specialty chemicals company that is active in the coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers (CASE) markets. Mr. MacRae has 30 years of specialty chemicals experience in a variety of commercial, operational, and executive leadership roles.

Beginning in May 2013 he was the President of DuBois Industrial, a subsidiary of DuBois Chemicals. During his tenure at DuBois, Mr. MacRae led a commercial reform of the industrial business while also integrating six add-on acquisitions. DuBois is a provider of specialty chemical solutions that are used in metal finishing and paint pretreatment; metalworking; water and wastewater treatment; maintenance and equipment cleaning; food processing cleaning and sanitizing; and transportation cleaning. The company is headquartered north of Cincinnati in Sharonville, OH. In March 2017, DuBois was sold by Aurora Capital Group to The Jordan Company.

From 1997 to 2011, Mr. MacRae held multiple executive positions with BASF Construction Chemicals, a manufacturer of chemicals used in construction and industrial applications. Key products included sealants, waterproofing, concrete repair, grouts, adhesives, and sports surfaces. Earlier in his career, he worked at Tremco in its sealant division focusing on sales, marketing, and human resources. Tremco is a supplier of sealants, weatherproofing, and passive fire control products that are used in commercial and residential construction and industrial applications.

Mr. MacRae and Mason Wells are seeking a specialty chemical platform company with some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Products should include coatings, adhesives, sealants, or elastomers.
  • Markets should include industrial and construction end markets but other end markets will be considered.
  • The operating strategy should emphasize small batch, asset-light operations such as blending, formulation, and/or value-added distribution.
  • Headquartered in the Midwest
  • Revenues should be greater than $30 million and EBITDA greater than $6 million. Companies with less than $6 million of EBITDA and outside of the Midwest will be considered for follow-on acquisitions.

“I am proud to partner with Mason Wells to support the development of a leading CASE platform,” said Mr. MacRae. “Mason Wells’ focus on Midwestern industrial products companies and the firm’s straightforward approach fits well with my background and values.”

Chris Pummill, a Vice President with Mason Wells, is coordinating the search for the new specialty chemicals platform.

Mason Wells makes investments in Midwest-based companies with revenues of $25 million to $300 million and EBITDAs of $5 million to $30 million. Sectors of interest include consumer packaged goods; packaging materials and converting; outsourced business services; and engineered products and services.  In February 2016, Mason Wells held a final closing of Mason Wells Buyout Fund IV and its related Executive Buyout Fund IV with total commitments of $615 million.  The firm was founded in 1998 and is based in Milwaukee (www.masonwells.com).

© 2017 Private Equity Professional | December 1, 2017

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