UK acquisition aims to move Vertellus further into life science sector

The US chemicals firm, which operates a Teesside base, has acquired Pentagon Chemical Holdings

Bond Dickinson
Bond Dickinson

US Chemicals firm Vertellus Specialities Inc has acquired British firm Pentagon Chemical Holdings in an undisclosed deal brokered in the North East.

Vertellus, which operates a facility at Seal Sands on Teesside, has bought Pentagon Chemical Holdings to expand its agrochemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing activities.

The move is also designed to take Vertellus further into the life science sector, from which 65% of the company’s revenue is generated.

Pentagon operates a facility in Cheshire and a Workington-based plant which produces fine chemicals and intermediates for the crop chemicals, oilfield, paper and pharmaceutical industries.

Vertellus was advised on the deal by Bond Dickinson’s Newcastle-based Chemicals and Manufacturing team, led by partner Peter Snaith.

Vertellus chief executive officer Rich Preziotti said: “Beyond the chemistry fit, Pentagon operates two UK manufacturing sites which build upon Vertellus’ position in the UK. Having three sites in close proximity to each other will enable us to build a robust infrastructure to support additional growth.”

Peter Snaith, partner and head of Chemicals and Manufacturing at Bond Dickinson, said: “Deals of this nature in the chemicals sector require specialist knowledge due to the complex supply chains and infrastructure and the impact of the regulatory regime, amongst other things.

“Most chemical companies in the UK have been established for many years and several have changed ownership on numerous occasions which can give rise to a myriad of legacy issues that any purchaser must carefully navigate.

“Our chemicals team has a history of working with multinational corporations and SMEs in the sector and can provide the rare blend of experience and expertise needed to advise on projects of this sort.”

He added: “Given the complementary capabilities of Vertellus and Pentagon, we look forward to supplying life science companies with a high quality supply of actives and critical intermediates delivered by a team who understands both the complex chemistries and the business markets in which they are used.”

Vertellus’ Seal Sands facility makes monomers and performance enhancers for plastics and polymers, plus advanced pharmaceutical, agrochemical and photographic intermediates.

The firm, which is owned by Wind Point Equity Partners, said the deal would boost the earnings of its Speciality Materials division by about 20%, and was likely to grow revenues by 13%. The Indianapolis-headquartered firm is a specialty chemicals company focused on the manufacture of ingredients used in pharmaceuticals, personal care, nutrition and agriculture, among other markets. It employs around 800 people worldwide.

Pentagon Chemical Holdings generates a turnover of £50m and and employs around 180 people.

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