Investment firm One Rock Capital Partners LLC put together three materials distribution deals in the first half of 2021.
One Rock, based in New York and Los Angeles, made the deals through its GPD Cos. Inc. unit, which also includes plastics materials distributor Nexeo Plastics. One Rock acquired a majority stake in Nexeo in 2019.
In the first half of 2021, GPD acquired European distributor Distrupol, which had been part of chemicals distribution firm Univar Solutions Inc. Distrupol is based in Chertsey, England, and sells more than 4,000 grades of material to more than 1,300 customers in 13 countries.
One Rock Managing Partner Tony Lee said that Distrupol "has established a reputation for product and technical expertise, innovation and reliability among its deep network of European suppliers and customers."
One Rock/GPD followed the Distrupol deal with Nexeo's acquisition of Nevicolor SpA, a resin distributor and compounder based in Luzzara, Italy. Distrupol then acquired resin distributor Lautrup Chemicals A/S of Denmark. Officials described Copenhagen-based Lautrup as the leading distributor of polymers in Scandinavia.
Also in the first half, CarbonLite Holdings LLC found buyers for its three PET recycling plants soon after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Private equity firm Sterling Group and PET resin makers Indorama Ventures and DAK Americas LLC each bought one CarbonLite plant.
Los Angeles-based CarbonLite had called itself the world's largest recycler of PET bottles. The firm blamed its bankruptcy on the pandemic and economic challenges in recycling markets. The company had hoped to emerge from the financial reorganization, but that ultimately proved too difficult, forcing the plants to be sold off in auctions in federal bankruptcy court.
The CarbonLite plant in Riverside, Calif., was sold to Houston-based private equity firm Sterling for $57.5 million. The company's Dallas plant was sold to Indorama for $63 million. CarbonLite's newest plant, in Reading, Pa., was sold to DAK, which is part of Alfa SAB de CV of Monterrey, Mexico, for $96 million.
Materials firms Westlake Chemical Corp. and DuPont Co. each made big moves into downstream products in the first half. Westlake acquired the North American building products business of Boral Industries Inc. for $2.15 billion.
The all-cash deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021, officials with Westlake in Houston said. Boral Industries is a unit of Australian construction giant Boral Ltd.
Boral's North American building products businesses include roofing; siding, trim and shutters; decorative stone; and windows. The business operates 29 sites in the U.S. and Mexico and had sales of more than $1 billion for the year ending June 30, 2020.
Westlake officials said that the combination of their firm's own building products unit with Boral's product lines "creates a stronger business with significantly increased scale, greater product and geographical diversity, and enhanced growth prospects." In a presentation to investors, Westlake officials said that the Boral deal will increase its building products' share of Westlake's total sales from 28 percent to 37 percent.
DuPont acquired specialty products maker Laird Performance Materials for $2.3 billion in cash. Cleveland-based Laird is a major supplier of electromagnetic shielding and thermal management products. Plastics-related products made by Laird include gaskets, tapes, foams and microwave absorbers. The firm operates 11 global sites and posted sales of $465 million in 2020.