Clayton, Dubilier & Rice exits investment in water treatment leader Solenis

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice exits investment in water treatment leader Solenis

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) announced an agreement under which its portfolio company, Solenis, will be acquired by Platinum Equity. The transaction, expected to close before the end of 2021, implies an enterprise value for Solenis of $5.25 billion. CD&R and Solenis management currently collectively own 51% of Solenis, and chemical company BASF holds the remaining 49%. Both CD&R and BASF will fully exit Solenis as part of the transaction announced today.

Founded in 1907 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Solenis is a global leader in supplying innovative specialty chemicals and services for process, functional and water treatment applications to consumer and industrial markets. The company’s global footprint spans across 120 countries and five continents, and comprises over 5,200 employees and 41 manufacturing facilities.

CD&R funds acquired a majority stake in Solenis from Ashland, Inc. in a July 2014 transaction that ascribed an enterprise valuation of $1.8 billion to Solenis. In 2019, Solenis merged with BASF’s Paper & Water Chemicals business, creating a leading solutions provider for the pulp & paper and water treatment industries.

Under CD&R’s ownership, Solenis enhanced its service-intensive business model, which relies on its more than 1,400 highly trained sales technicians operating on site at customers’ facilities. This operational focus allowed Solenis to expand its presence in the market, increase its customer base and enhance its approach to delivering sustainable value. It also enabled Solenis to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst retaining a strong financial profile and creating opportunities for continued growth in the future.

“We’re proud to have supported Solenis’ growth strategy and have enjoyed working alongside the company’s talented team since our initial investment in 2014,” said CD&R Partner Stephen Shapiro. “In that time, Solenis has significantly expanded its global presence, strengthened its customer offerings, and emerged as a sustainability leader. We’re pleased to have found a strong new investment partner for Solenis and look forward to following the company’s continued success.”

This transaction is a strong validation of the growth and success we have achieved over the last seven years under CD&R ownership,” said Solenis Chief Executive Officer John Panichella. “We thank the CD&R team for its support, which has positioned us well for this exciting next phase of growth with our new investment partners at Platinum.”

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