Daily News: August 4, 2014

Madison, Others Support VanDeMark Acquisition

VanDeMark Chemical said it acquired Framochem from sponsor Uni-World Capital. Madison Capital and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking provided debt financing, and Prudential Capital provided mezzanine financing to support the acquisition.

To finance the Framochem acquisition, Uni-World secured senior debt financing from Madison Capital Funding and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, as well as mezzanine financing from Prudential Capital Group. In addition, VanDeMark is raising new equity capital to fund the acquisition of Framochem. Along with Uni-World itself and VanDeMark management, investors will include Prudential Capital Group, Hamilton Lane and Madison Capital Funding. Uni-World will remain the largest and lead equity investor.

The purchase unites two companies with complementary product offerings and creates one of the world’s largest, independent manufacturers of products based on phosgenation chemistry. These compounds are widely used in the pharmaceutical, agricultural-chemical, personal care, polymer and fine chemical industries.

Framochem was a subsidiary of ISOCHEM S.A.S., a company of the Munich-based AURELIUS Group. As part of the transaction, VanDeMark also acquired a sales office in Germany, ISOCHEM Deutschland GmbH.

Michael Kucharski, CEO of VanDeMark Chemical, said, “This acquisition combines a North American leader with a European leader to give us greater size and scale across more geographies. By combining these two companies, we are marrying VanDeMark’s particular strengths in the custom side of the market with Framochem’s substantial offering in the catalog chemical business — all of which makes a compelling, single-source offering for our customers for phosgene products worldwide.”

Christopher P. Fuller, managing partner of Uni-World Capital, VanDeMark’s largest private equity owner and sponsor of the transaction, added, “In a sense, we are reuniting these two companies — along with the business rationale and global customer base — since both VanDeMark and Framochem were originally part of the French state-owned enterprise SNPE.”

“Like VanDeMark, Framochem has extensive experience in the implementation of batch and continuous processes both on laboratory and industrial scales,” said Gyorgy Emri, managing director, Framochem. “Having VanDeMark add to our capability in Europe, as well as applying Framochem expertise in North America will benefit all of our customers in terms of product quality, reliability and delivery.”

Erik S. Miller, the Uni-World partner who spearheaded the acquisition, said, “There is tremendous synergy in bringing together the expertise and capabilities of VanDeMark and Framochem to share best practices for technologies employed. This combination strengthens our research and development in phosgene chemistry, and enhances the reliability of our supply chain to serve customers in a global marketplace.”

VanDeMark manufactures phosgene derivatives and is a North American leading producer of merchant phosgene. It is certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards, is a member of SOCMA and ACC, and participates in the Responsible Care initiative.

Uni-World Capital L.P. is a private equity firm focused on making leveraged buyout and growth equity investments in lower-middle market companies.