Although an extremely well managed operation, Inspec had become non-core to BP's business and the decision therefore made to divest it.
With a strong, diversified speciality chemicals portfolio marketing 125 products in areas including automotive paints, sealants, plastics, fragrances and synthetic lubricants, Inspec held a significant market share in all product groups. Coupled with a history of proactive capital expenditure investment and the successful completion of a recent operational restructuring programme, the company was extremely well positioned to exploit its many strengths. Post investment, and the addition of some key skill sets to the management team, we assisted management in rolling out an aggressive business plan, integrating information, R&D and sales and marketing activities, growing sales and increasing market share in European, US and Asian markets. Acquisitions followed, giving the company a US base. In 1994, we floated Inspec on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the company at €200m. In 1998, Inspec was acquired by Laporte for €920m.