Maroon Group, a distributor of plastic additives and other chemicals, has been acquired by life science ingredients supplier Barentz International BV for an undisclosed price.
Avon, Ohio-based Maroon is majority owned by private equity firm CI Capital LLC of New York. CI bought a majority stake in Maroon in 2014 and since then has grown the business by making 11 acquisitions.
Maroon President and Chief Operating Officer Mike McKenna said in an Oct. 14 phone interview that the deal "provides an immense amount of opportunity for our team globally," since Maroon had generated more than 90 percent of its sales from North America.
McKenna added that although Barentz has no plastics-related sales, it's looking to grow in that area.
"We'll be looking to build out our plastics and coatings business through M&A activity in North America and beyond," he said. "It's a continuation of our buy and build strategy.
"Plastics is an important part of our business. Barentz loved our diversification."
In a news release, officials with Barentz in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, said that Maroon was one of North America's leading specialty distributors and that the acquisition "will expand Barentz' activities and is aligned with [the firm's] strategy to become a global leader in the life science and broader specialty chemical industries."
Maroon was founded in 1977 by Anthony Maroon as a supplier of specialty chemicals to paint manufacturers in Northeast Ohio. The firm now employs 300 and has annual sales of around $500 million. Maroon generates about 25 percent of its sales from plastics-related materials, selling mainly to compounders and concentrate makers.
Maroon's management team, including CEO Terry Hill, will continue to manage the business. Barentz CEO Hidde van der Wal said in the release that Hill "brings excellent experience and 'know-how' … and has been highly successful and active in the global ingredients industry for more than 30 years."
Hill, who took the top job at Maroon in mid-2019, added in the release that it was "a logical decision" for Maroon to join with Barentz.
"The deciding factor was that Barentz is already a global business," he said. "This creates tremendous opportunities to strengthen our business in North America and internationally.
"We share the same philosophy and entrepreneurial DNA, and [Barentz] is the best possible new home for the stakeholders across our business."
Negotiating the deal "was a much different process" because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, McKenna said. Fortunately for both firms, senior management was able to meet before restrictions were put in place, he added.
Plastics-related materials distributed by Maroon include additives and pigments. The firm's most recent plastics-related deal same in 2016 when it bought specialty chemicals distributor U.S. Chemicals LLC of Darien, Conn. That firm distributed several plastics feedstocks, including styrene monomer, as well as epoxy resins.
In late 2019, Maroon moved its Addipel business unit, which formulates a wide range of plastic resins and additives, from Avon Lake, Ohio, to nearby Elyria.
Barentz, founded in 1953, supplies life science ingredients for human nutrition, animal nutrition, pharmaceutical and personal care markets. The firm employs around 1,100 people worldwide and serves more than 15,000 customers.