Like most of the world, Nexeo Plastics President and CEO Paul Tayler is looking forward to better things in 2021.
In Tayler's case, his optimism is tied to Nexeo parent One Rock Capital Partners LLC acquiring European resin distributor Distrupol. Nexeo, a resin distributor based in The Woodlands, Texas, had competed with Chertsey, England-based Distrupol in some parts of Europe.
The deal was announced in January and is expected to close in the first half of 2021. "When we close, we'll have two strong brands and a platform to grow and to look for further acquisitions in Europe and the Americas," Tayler said in a recent interview with Plastics News.
One Rock, based in New York and Los Angeles, made the deal through its GPD Cos. Inc. unit, which also includes Nexeo. Distrupol had been part of chemicals distribution firm Univar Solutions Inc. of Downers Grove, Ill.
For more than 50 years, Distrupol has served a wide range of markets, including consumer, medical, automotive and electrical. The firm sells more than 4,000 grades of material to more than 1,300 customers. Its portfolio includes sustainably derived solutions that reduce environmental impact. The firm currently distributes resins and compounds from 22 suppliers.
"We had been admirers of Distrupol for a long time and would have liked to acquire it sooner," said Tayler, who was named to his current positions on Sept. 1. "We compete in some areas and there's some overlap with the supplier base, but they've had more of a focus on medical and health care and other specialties."
Once the deal closes, Tayler said both Nexeo and Distrupol will operate independently of each other, with separate sales teams, product management and customer service.
"They'll both report to me, but this will allow them to keep the customer relationships that each has developed," he explained.
Nexeo has managed the COVID-19 pandemic fairly well, according to Tayler. "We're ahead of the curve," he said. "We've been able to work from home effectively. Engagement with customers and suppliers actually has gone up, and that's opened up some new opportunities."
Recent growth for Nexeo has come from food packaging, home shopping, health care and medical — areas that Tayler said "are now part of everyday life." Nexeo posted double-digit volume growth in the fourth quarter, with full-year 2020 sales just slightly below 2019. The firm's first-quarter order rates are "far outpacing" pre-COVID levels, officials said.
Tayler has been with Nexeo since early 2018. He had been based in Barcelona as vice president of the firm's European division. Tayler has more than 30 years of industry experience, including nine years with materials maker DSM Engineering Plastics. Earlier in his career, Tayler was with London-based plastics and chemicals supplier Imperial Chemical Industries plc for almost 20 years in a variety of management roles.
In other recent personnel moves, Nexeo has promoted Jeff Collier and Arturo Hoyo to new roles. The firm also recently hired former PepsiCo executive Pau Climent in a new role as vice president of business transformation.
Collier, who has more than 25 years of sales experience, has been named North America chief commercial officer, with responsibility for the growth and performance within the region. In a news release, Tayler said that Collier "has shown exceptional leadership in driving team-building and performance" since joining Nexeo last year.
Hoyo has been promoted to vice president of sales for North America, replacing Collier in that role. Hoyo will be responsible for the development and expansion of the company's footprint in that region. He has served as managing director of Nexeo's Mexico operations for nine years, with officials saying Hoyo has "played a pivotal role" in growing market share in the country.
One Rock has owned a majority stake in Nexeo since early 2019. Nexeo Plastics had been the plastics unit of Nexeo Solutions, which Univar had acquired for $1.8 billion in late 2018.
Nexeo has annual sales estimated at around $2 billion. The firm distributes resins and compounds in North America, Europe and Asia for more than 30 suppliers.