Socius Closes Double Play –

F&C Ventures and The Royal Bank of Scotland have backed the management team of Socius Group, a manufacturer of industrial chemicals and specialty garments, in a GBP42 million ($62.8 million) secondary buyout and merger deal.

F&C Ventures provided equity for the transaction in the amount of GBP15.3 million ($22.9 million), with The Royal Bank of Scotland providing the senior debt portion.

As part of the deal, Socius has also acquired Applied Chemicals Europe. The two companies will be merged to form a pan-European industrial chemical manufacturer. The combined businesses have a turnover of GBP34 million ($50.8 million).

Socius is a holding company for Gramos Surface Treatment, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals for the industrial and automotive sectors; Countdown Clean Systems, an industrial cleaning chemicals supplier; and ChemEx, a provider of cleaning and hygiene products through a mobile showroom network.

Applied Chemicals is the European arm of Australian owned Applied Chemicals International and operates in similar markets to Gramos.

“The merger will extend our product range and improve services to our customers,” said Roger Wild, chief executive officer of Socius Group in a statement. “Applied is an excellent fit with Socius Group and enables us to achieve greater critical mass in our chosen markets.”

SJ Berwin, Eversheds, Vision Capital Ltd. and Rees Pollock acted as advisors on the deal.

As a result of the transaction, Bridgepoint Capital, which backed Socius in a GBP15 million management buyout from Laporte PLC in July 1996, realized its investment.