Four plastics color companies are combining under the Chroma Color Corp. name.
McHenry, Ill.-based Chroma, Breen Color Concentrates, Carolina Color and Hudson Color all are owned by private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners of New York. In an Aug. 30 phone interview, Chroma CEO Tom Bolger said that operating under one name will allow the business “to focus on what's best for our customers.”
“These were all good brand names, but the Chroma name is color-specific and isn't connected to a geography or an owner,” he added. “We don't want to be viewed as a company with many parts. We want to be strong in technology and size and scope, and it's easier to do that with one name.”
Chroma makes color concentrates based on a variety of resins for several markets. The firm employs about 400 and has annual sales of more than $150 million. The consolidation of the four firms into Chroma won't impact its six U.S. manufacturing sites, according to Bolger, who rejoined Chroma in 2005 after working for them early in his 30-plus-year plastics career.
Chroma officials said in a news release that the firm “produces color concentrates of the highest quality and the shortest lead times in the industry.” They added that its extensive product lines of colorants and additives “have performed exceptionally well for customers for over 40 years in markets such as wire and cable, packaging, building and construction, consumer and medical.”
Arsenal acquired both Salisbury, N.C.-based Carolina Color and Breen of Lambertville, N.J., in October. It then used Carolina Color to acquire Chroma in July. Breen had acquired Hudson of Leominster, Mass., in early 2016. Chroma's six production sites are in McHenry; Salisbury; Lambertville; Leominster; Niles, Ill.; and Delaware, Ohio.
In spite of all four firms being active in color concentrates for many years, Bolger said there “was very little overlap” between them. “There might have been some cases where we had similar customers based on geography or market focus or resin systems, but we didn't compete directly all that much,” he added.
Bolger identified Carolina Color's highly loaded G3 pellet system as a technology that can benefit Chroma. G3, which received a patent in May, allows concentrates to compete with liquid color, he said.
Arsenal executive George Abd will serve as Chroma's chairman. In an Aug. 30 phone interview, he said Arsenal is looking to make more acquisitions through Chroma.
“We want to grow both organically and through acquisitions,” Abd said. “There are a lot of good small to midsized companies out there.
“This isn't a cost play for us,” he added. “We're trying to leverage our technology and customers and markets to broaden our customer base.”
Abd, with more than 30 years of plastics experience, also agreed that combining the business under one name will benefit Chroma. “At some point, you just have too many names,” he said.
Arsenal has been one of the most active private equity firms in the plastics market in recent years, making 24 plastics-related acquisitions since 2012.