Eastman Chemical Co. is buying specialty plasticizer maker Genovique Specialties for an undisclosed price.
Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman said that the deal aligns with Eastman's strategic goals of investing in differentiated, sustainably advantaged products and diversifying into emerging geographies.
Genovique is based in Rosemont, Ill., and operates manufacturing plants in Chestertown, Md.; Kohtla-JÃ¤rve, Estonia, and at a joint venture site in Wuhan, China. The firm, owned by private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners of New York, employs about 250 and posted sales of about $135 million in 2009.
Genovique's product line includes non-phthalate plasticizers. Eastman already supplies general-purpose non-phthalate plasticizers for flexible PVC applications in North America and Europe.
Phthalates have been linked to a number of alleged health risks in recent years. Eastman spokeswoman Tracy Broadwater said that non-phthalates are attractive to the firm because there's a lot of regulatory and consumer preference for them.
Genovique is a good fit and a good sustainability story for Eastman, Broadwater said in a March 18 phone interview. She added that Eastman is assessing Genovique's current management team, and that no closing date for the purchase has been set.
Arsenal Capital formed Genovique after its 2005 purchase of specialty chemicals maker Velsicol Chemical LLC. After that deal, Arsenal sold off some Velsicol businesses, retained others and spun some off into Genovique. Arsenal, which controls an $800 million portfolio of investments, also closed a Genovique plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., and established the Chinese joint venture.
Genovique has developed a strong R&D pipeline that will continue to deliver valuable new non-phthalate products going forward, Chairman Tim Zappala said in a March 17 news release.
The sale to Eastman is a natural progression of [Genovique's] continued growth path, added Zappala, who also serves as an Arsenal Capital partner.
Eastman posted sales of about $5 billion in 2009, with almost 30 percent of that amount coming from specialty plastics and performance polymers. The firm ranks as one of North America's largest PET makers and has seen success in recent years with its Tritan-brand specialty copolyester.
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