Bain Capital drives Brenntag expansion

Brenntag, the German distributor of chemicals owned by US-based buyout firm Bain Capital, has announced two acquisitions.

It has agreed to acquire Schweizerhall Chemie, the chemicals subsidiary of listed Swiss pharmaceutical and chemicals group Schweizerhall Holding for SFr93m in cash.

Brenntag has announced the acquisition of Albion Chemicals Group, a chemical distributor in the UK and Ireland employing 700 staff, which generated sales of €276m in fiscal 2005.

Brenntag itself emerged in February 2003, when German rail operator Deutsche Bahn acquired Stinnes and with it the Brenntag group of companies to merge operations with Schenker.

In 2004, Bain Capital agrees to acquire the Brenntag group together with steel group Interfer Stahl for €1.4bn. Later that year, Bain Capital sold Stinnes Interfer Stahl to investor Albrecht Knauf for an undisclosed consideration.

In fiscal 2005, Brenntag recorded external sales of €5.3bn and operating Ebitda of €301m.

In 2005, Bain Capital supported the acquisition of a 51% interest in Group Alliance, a wholesaler of specialty chemicals, by Brenntag Holding. Also in 2005, Brenntag Holding acquired all of Chem-On Vertriebs, a Swiss distributor of industrial chemicals. Group Alliance is focused on the North African market and generated annual sales of €12m in 2004, while Chem-On posted sales of around SFr17m in 2004.