MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azelis, an innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients distribution industry, is seeking to raise EUR880m in an initial public offering in Brussels in what will be one of the sector’s largest listings this year, reported Financial Times.
The Antwerp-based company, which is owned by Swedish buyout firm EQT, is targeting a valuation of more than EUR5bn, according to people familiar with the matter.
The IPO would make Azelis the world’s fourth-largest listed chemicals distributor in a highly fragmented EUR117bn market. As well as using the IPO’s proceeds to cut some of its EUR1.6bn of debt, the company also plans to make further acquisitions.
“As a public company, we believe we will be able to fully capitalise on growth opportunities, continuing to complement our strong organic growth with accretive acquisitions,” said chief executive Hans Joachim Muller.
Muller said he hoped to expand operations in Asia and gain a foothold in Latin America, where Azelis does not have a presence.
Demand for chemicals has rebounded rapidly from the pandemic’s initial hit, sending valuations for the sector soaring and handing EQT a chance to capitalise.
Nouryon, the former chemicals arm of Akzo Nobel that was acquired by US buyout firm Carlyle in 2018 in a EUR10bn deal, is also set to go public.
Although Azelis has only a 2% market share, it is enough to make it one of the sector’s largest players alongside Germany’s Brenntag, IMCD from the Netherlands and Illinois-based Univar Solutions. In a sign of investor appetite for the sector, Brenntag’s share price is at an all-time high.
As MRC informed earlier, in June 2021, Azelis announced the extension of its distribution scope with CP Kelco in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. CP Kelco’s product range is a significant addition to Azelis’ portfolio and the new agreement marks an important milestone in the strong and continuously developing collaboration between both companies globally.
Besides, Azelis made two acquisitions in July, 2021, both in South Korea. The most recent agreement, announced on Jul. 14, is the proposed takeover of Seoul-headquartered Coseal, which specializes in the distribution, repackaging and blending of agricultural/horticultural surfactants. This transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, when all of Coseal’s 45 employees, along with its owner and CEO Sang Jin Kang, will transfer to the Belgium-based distributor.
Nearly two weeks earlier, on Jul. 1, Azelis revealed it had purchased MH, a local distributor in the food ingredients market, providing the multinational specialty chemicals distribution group with a foothold in the food and health segment. Also headquartered in Seoul, MH is a family-owned business, supplying products such as gluten, starches, sweeteners and functional food ingredients.
Azelis is a leading distributor of speciality chemicals and food ingredients present in over 50 countries across the globe with around 2,200 employees. Our knowledgeable teams of industry, market and technical experts are each dedicated to a specific market within Life Sciences and Industrial Chemicals.