AEA Carves Out Pest Products Business

AEA Investors has acquired the environmental sciences business (Environmental Sciences) of publicly traded Univar Solutions for $195 million.

Austin, Texas-based Environmental Sciences is a distributor of pest control products and a provider of related services. The company’s products include a range of pesticides and rodent control devices that are sold to thousands of local service providers within the structural pest control, public health, wildlife management, industrial vegetation management, and post-harvest end markets.

“Environmental Sciences is already well established as an industry leader in pest management, and we are confident that AEA has the right resources and vision to position the business for long term sustainable growth,” said David Jukes, Univar’s president and chief executive officer.

AEA was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices. The firm, with 80 investment professionals, is headquartered in New York with additional offices in Connecticut, London, Munich and Shanghai.

In December 2019, AEA finalized two new funds with the hard cap close of its seventh flagship fund, AEA Investors Fund VII LP (Fund VII), with total equity commitments of $4.8 billion, and its fourth small business fund, AEA Investors SBF IV LP (Fund SB), with total equity commitments of $877 million. AEA’s investment in Environmental Sciences was made through Fund SB.

Trace McEuen, a vice president of Environmental Sciences, will continue to lead the business under AEA’s ownership. “AEA has a deep understanding of the Environmental Sciences business and our future opportunities, including our ability to meet the growing demand in our existing and adjacent end markets,” said Mr. McEuen. “As a standalone company, with the focused ownership and committed resources of AEA, we expect to be even better positioned to serve our customers and partner with suppliers as we drive growth and build on the momentum we have already created at Univar Solutions.”

Univar Solutions (NYSE: UNVR) is a chemical and ingredient distributor headquartered near Chicago in Downers Grove, Illinois. In 2018, the company had revenues of more than $8.6 billion. Univar was founded in 1924 as Van Waters & Rogers and changed its name to Univar in 1974. Following the acquisition of Nexeo Solutions in March 2019, the company changed its name to Univar Solutions.

MidCap Financial was the Administrative Agent, Joint Lead Arranger and Joint Bookrunner for a $120.5 million senior secured credit facility that supported AEA’s buy of Environmental Sciences. MidCap’s deal team was led by Managing Director Puja Parekh. MidCap Financial, in alliance with its investment manager Apollo Capital Management, is a middle-market focused finance firm that provides debt instruments of $10 million to $750 million to companies across all industries.

Piper Jaffray & Co. (now Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR) as of January 1, 2020) was the financial advisor to Univar on this transaction.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | January 10, 2020

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