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Additive supplier Addivant adding workers

By: Frank Esposito

May 8, 2013

MIDDLEBURY, CONN. — Fresh off becoming a new company, additives maker Addivant is adding new jobs and might be adding new production capacity as well.

Addivant is the name that new York-based private equity firm SK Capital has chosen for the antioxidant and ultraviolet light-stabilizer business that it acquired from Chemtura Corp. for about $200 million late last year. The new name and headquarters location of Middlebury, Conn., were announced May 1.

Former Chemtura executive Peter Smith will serve as Addivant's first president and CEO. In a May 6 phone interview, Smith said the firm is looking to add 50 new jobs in the near future at levels ranging from research and development to production to sales and marketing. That would represent a 10 percent increase over Addivant's current work force of 500. The firm operates six plants worldwide in North America, Europe and Asia.

"We're busy recruiting to get up to scale on a global basis," Smith said.

On the production side, an improving automotive market and China's move toward higher-performance materials should create more of a need for Addivant's products. Mega-expansions of polyethylene resin capacity in North America also could create more of a market for plastic additives.

"Polymers continue to grow on a global basis," Smith said. "Obviously we're excited about it. We could respond by debottlenecking to increase production or by building new plants."

When the deal was announced, SK Capital officials said the businesses being acquired could generate sales of more than $500 million annually. Smith on May 6 declined to provide a sales estimate for 2013, but he added that sales should be up around four percent vs. 2012.

Addivant's materials are sold into a variety of end markets, including automotive, packaging, consumer durables and agriculture.