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Chemoxy emerge from DOW

Posted on February 3, 2012

MBO takes over two-site operation in NE England

A management buy-out supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland has acquired two firms from Dow Chemical that formerly operated as Dow Haltermann Custom Processing in North-East England on undisclosed terms. Relaunched under its old name of Chemoxy International, the firm will employ about 80 people. It is seeking to grow by 5-10% this year.

“We are going to be more agile as an SME and we’re looking to bring back on line some plants that were idle a few years ago,” commented managing director Ian Stark, who has been with the firm for exactly 30 years and who led the buy-out alongside COO Martyn Bainbridge.

Dow acquired Chemoxy, including sites at Middlesbrough and nearby Billingham, in 2001. The former, which is by far the larger of the two, has been carrying out distillation since 1868 while the latter was added to the portfolio in 1994. About 70% of its production is exported from the UK.

Chemoxy calls itself “one of Europe’s largest providers of custom manufacturing services to blue chip petrochemical and speciality chemical companies”. Industries served include pharmaceuticals, adhesives, coatings, compact discs, electronics, flavours and fragrances, leather, home care, oil drilling and fuel additives.

The company also makes environmentally friendly solvents for paints and cleaning products, notably the Estasol low toxicity solvent and Coasol, a low odour coalescing agent. It recently launched a new variation called Coasol 290, which Stark says “complies with the latest low emission requirements for coalescing solvents for surface coatings”.

The company describes custom processing as its core activity. “We are at our best when we can combine our versatile reactors with our excellent distillation capabilities whilst our solvent recovery service can further improve our efficiency by adding further value to by-product or recycle streams,” it states.

Facilities across the two sites include nine glass-lined and stainless steel reactors from 9 to 25 m3 with reaction temperatures up to 230°C, nine distillation units with up to 50 theoretical stages and vacuum capability to 5 mm Hg, a range of feed and side stream options, a 3 bar hydrogenation unit, solid raw material addition and bulk methyl chloride and other difficult to handle raw materials.

Article from Speciality Chemicals Magazine