MacDermid to Acquire Enthone, OM Group

Franklin says the proposed acquisition of Alent is in the company’s strategy of building a portfolio of best-in-class “asset-lite, high-touch” businesses.

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Chemical supplier MacDermid’s parent company is proposing to acquire Enthone and OM Group in two separate transactions that will form one of the biggest specialty chemical companies in the surface finishing industry.

U.S.-based Platform Specialty Products Corp.—the parent of MacDermid—wants to acquire Enthone parent Alent in a cash and stock transaction for approximately $2.1 billion. Platform is also planning to acquire OM Group’s electronic chemicals and photomasks businesses from Apollo Global Management, which purchased OMG in June.

Martin Franklin, Platform's founder and chairman, says the proposed acquisition of Alent is in the company’s strategy of building a portfolio of best-in-class “asset-lite, high-touch” businesses in the specialty chemicals industry.

“The creation of Platform was the catalyst that created an environment where the Alent transaction could take place,” Franklin says.

Platform CEO Daniel Leever says acquiring a highly synergistic business like OMG is a core component of its growth strategy. “This transaction fits within our disciplined acquisition criteria and bolsters our Performance Applications segment,” he says. “We have long admired these businesses and are excited to bring them into the Platform family.”

Alent has two business segments: Enthone is its surface chemistries business, and Alpha is its assembly materials business that is a global supplier of interconnect materials, primarily into electronics applications.

Alent CEO Andrew Heath says that, since the successful demerger of Alent at the end of 2012, its market leading businesses have outperformed its end-markets and delivered increasing returns. “The significant premium being offered by Platform recognizes the progress Alent has made, the opportunities in front of us and the overall quality of the business,” he says.

Leever says that Alent is a strong complement to Platform's founding asset MacDermid. “We have a long history with Alent and its predecessor company, and these are assets we know well,” he says. “We believe the synergy potential is significant as is our combined ability to deliver better technology and service.”

The transactions are expected to close in late 2015 or early 2016. Platform officials say the company will remain a New York Stock Exchange listed company located in the U.S.

Originally published in the September 2015 issue.