French compounder Benvic Group has made its first U.S. acquisition, buying Princeton, N.J.-based materials firm Chemres LLC for an undisclosed price.
Chemres operates a plant in Chesapeake, Va., making compounds for several markets, including medical, packaging, and wire and cable. In an Aug. 5 news release, officials with Benvic in Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur, France, said that Chemres has "a strong position" in the U.S. contact lens market and has long-term customer relationships.
Officials said that the Chemres acquisition will allow Benvic to enter the U.S. market and strengthen its exposure to the medical sector, allowing the firm to become a key global supplier in that market.
In an Aug. 10 phone interview, Chemres CEO Paul Keimig said that synergies between Chemres and Benvic will allow Chemres to expand its product line.
"We're in a unique niche with wire and cable and medical, and now we'll have global reach," he added.
Keimig owned Chemres along with financial firm Charter Oak Equity LP and other investors. He's staying on with Chemres, which he said could be announcing another acquisition by the end of the year.
Benvic CEO Luc Mertens said in a news release that the company looks forward to working closely with the Chemres team "to expand our operations in North America and grow our polymer expertise across sectors and in particular in the medical sector. … This acquisition is an important step forward in Benvic becoming a global leader in compounding."
Keimig founded Chemres in 1995. The firm began operations at a former Nova Chemicals site in Chesapeake in 2008. In 2018, Chemres spent $3 million to increase twin-screw compounding capacity there to more than 80 million pounds per year. The 100,000-square-foot Chesapeake site also has 100 million pounds of annual capacity for blending and other services. Chemres employs 40 and has annual sales of $75 million.
The Chemres deal is the ninth add-on acquisition for Benvic since it joined the portfolio of Italian investment firm Investindustrial in 2018. Five of the nine acquisitions have been in Italy.
In 2019, Benvic acquired Modenplast Medical, an Italian compounder specializing in medical-grade PVC compounds and tubing extrusion. In 2020, Benvic bought Luc & Bel, an Italian manufacturer that specializes in medical device components. Earlier this year, Benvic bought polypropylene and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounding assets in Ferrara, Italy, from Celanese Corp. of Dallas.
Founded in 1963, Benvic's first deal was for PVC recycler VinyLoop. Other Benvic deals include biopolymers maker Plantura, Alfa PVC of Poland, Ereplast of France, and Dugdale Ltd. of the United Kingdom.