Chemical firm bought out with jobs pledge

Posted on January 19, 2012

PART of the Dow Chemical Company’s Teesside empire has been taken over in a management buy out deal.

The MBO at Chemoxy International processing facilities at Middlesbrough and Billingham, which employ more than 80 people making speciality chemicals split across the two sites, was led by managing director Ian Stark and chief operating officer Martyn Bainbridge.

The new owners now aim to expand staff numbers by between 5% and 10% this year and increase both exports and the company’s global reach. It is already interviewing for a number of key roles.

Stark, who has been with the business for exactly 30 years, said: “We are looking to grow our business. 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.

“We are very excited about taking the business forward. We are pleased to see that British manufacturing is being supported. We want to expand the exports and geographical reach.”

Chemoxy, which was bought by Dow in 2001, exports around 70% of its products. It produces environmentally friendly solvents used in paints and coatings to reduce the smell and toxicity.

In addition, it makes products on a contract manufacturing basis for speciality chemical companies and also recycles chemicals.

Bainbridge, who has clocked up almost a quarter century with the firm, said: “With more than 50 years of combined experience in operating this custom processing business, we look forward to a great new chapter as an independent company, committed to the long-term success of our valued partners.”

The MBO team was advised by lawyers from Newcastle-based Dickinson Dees, while Shawn Bone and Simon Hewitson of Newcastle firm BTG Corporate Finance secured the funding for the deal from The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Stark said: “It has been an eye opening experience for us and we would never have been able to do it without the excellent advice and strength in depth from Dickinson Dees and BTG Corporate Finance.”

Tom Fitzpatrick, partner at Dickinson Dees, said: “Congratulations to Ian and Martyn for making it over the line. With many large multi-nationals shutting down manufacturing operations in the UK, it is great to be involved in a successful news story, preserving jobs and with exciting plans for growth.”

Simon Hewitson, of BTG Corporate Finance, said: “Ian and Martyn are a strong management team with a vast amount of experience in the chemicals market.

“It’s fantastic that we have been able to secure the MBO and we wish the team every success in taking the business forward under its ownership.”

David Wilkinson, corporate relationship director for RBS, added: “It’s great to be supporting a North East manufacturing business in its growth plans.RBS is looking forward to a long and
successful partnership with the team.”

by Karen Dent, The Journal