New Mountain Builds Specialty Chemicals Platform

Aceto, a maker of specialty materials and a portfolio company of New Mountain Capital, has acquired Syntor Fine Chemicals.

Syntor Fine Chemicals is an asset-light manufacturer of fine chemicals, specialty chemicals and other chemical intermediates used in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, aroma, electronic and polymer industries. The company’s products include organic chemicals and reactive agents including acid chlorides, chloroalkylamines, Friedel-Craft derivatives, and cyclopropyl derivatives.

Syntor’s services include process development, custom synthesis and contract manufacturing, commercial-scale manufacturing, and research and development. Syntor, led by Managing Partner Simon Knowles, is headquartered near Liverpool in Runcorn, United Kingdom.

Following a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in February 2019, New Mountain acquired the chemicals business of publicly-traded Aceto Corporation (OTC: ACETQ) for $338 million in April 2019. Today, Aceto is a developer, marketer and distributor of more than 1,100 chemical compounds including agricultural protection products (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) and specialty chemicals (coatings, resins, adhesives, sealants, fuel additives and lubricants). In FY 2018, prior to its acquisition by New Mountain, the chemicals unit had revenues of $178 million and a gross profit of $38 million.

Aceto was founded in 1947 and is headquartered on Long Island in Port Washington, New York with additional facilities in India, China, the Philippines, France, Germany, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

“The acquisition of Syntor is an important step in Aceto’s strategic growth plan,” said Gilles Cottier, chief executive officer of Aceto. “Syntor’s synthesis and formulation capabilities enhance Aceto’s existing services and expand our value-added offerings in life sciences materials. With the addition of Syntor’s technical team, we can provide greater product customization in addition to supplying our current offering of high quality, specialty materials.”

“The acquisition of Syntor represents significant progress in New Mountain’s strategic plan for Aceto, as the company continues its track record of growth both organically and through acquisition,” said Andre Moura, a managing director at New Mountain. “The partnership creates significant cross-sell opportunities that benefit customers and supply partners to both businesses.”

New Mountain is an industry generalist and seeks to acquire just three or four companies each year, typically in the $100 million to $1 billion enterprise value range, and generally invests $100 million to $500 million per transaction. In September 2017, the firm held an oversubscribed hard cap close of its fifth private equity fund, New Mountain Partners V LP, with $6.1 billion of capital. New Mountain was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in New York City.

Private Equity Professional | April 21, 2020

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