Advent International and LANXESS establish a leading global joint venture for high-performance engineering polymers with combined sales of around EUR 3 billion

  • Advent and LANXESS to acquire the Engineering Materials business from DSM for an Enterprise Value of EUR 3.7 billion.
  • LANXESS transfers High-Performance Materials business into joint venture.
  • Advent Managing Partner Ronald Ayles: “Together we plan to bring the experience, deep sector know-how, and financial resources to make the joint venture a global success story for everyone involved.”
  • New joint venture provides pioneering product portfolio and integrated value chain.

Frankfurt, May 31, 2022 – Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors with a well-established track record in Chemicals investing, and specialty chemicals company LANXESS are establishing a joint venture for engineering and high-performance polymers. The two companies today signed an agreement to acquire the DSM Engineering Materials business (DEM) from Dutch group Royal DSM, which will become part of the new joint venture. The Enterprise Value is around EUR 3.7 billion and will be financed by the joint venture via equity from Advent and external debt. The business represents sales of around EUR 1.5 billion with an EBITDA margin of approximately 20 percent. DEM is one of the leading global suppliers in high-performance specialty materials that address key market needs in electronics, electrical and consumer goods.

In addition, LANXESS is combining its High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit with DEM. HPM is one of the leading suppliers of engineering and high-performance polymers, which are used primarily in the automotive industry. The business represents annual sales of around EUR 1.6 billion with EBITDA pre exceptionals of around EUR 200 million.

The combined company will have sales of about EUR 3 billion. The transaction is still subject to approval by the authorities. Closing is expected in the first half of 2023. Advent will hold at least 60 percent in the joint venture, LANXESS a stake of up to 40 percent.

Ronald Ayles, Managing Partner at Advent International said: “Joining forces with LANXESS in this industry transforming transaction is a highlight for Advent as we have built a trusted, longstanding relationship and share the highest mutual respect. Together we plan to bring the experience, deep sector know-how, and financial resources to make the joint venture a global success story for everyone involved. The combination of LANXESS’ High-Performance Materials (HPM) and DSM Engineering Materials (DEM) creates a strong platform and brings together extensive expertise, resulting in the best opportunities for employees and more value for customers.”

LANXESS CEO Matthias Zachert added: “LANXESS will once again become significantly less dependent on economic fluctuations. In addition, we as LANXESS will strengthen our balance sheet with the proceeds from the transaction and gain new scope for the further development of our Group. With the new joint venture, we are forging a strong global player in the field of high-performance polymers. The portfolios, value chains and global positioning of the two businesses complement each other perfectly. With its innovative products, the joint venture will be able to play a key role in shaping future developments – for example in the field of electromobility. In Advent, we have a strong and reliable partner with profound experience in the chemical industry and our customer industries.”

Global set-up and high backward integration
Advent International will be the majority owner of the newly created joint venture and has extensive investment experience in the global chemical sector with a proven track record in transforming companies from corporate carve-outs into industry-leading players. Advent also fosters the growth and market position of portfolio companies through further acquisitions and organic investments.

DSM’s Engineering Materials business comprises polyamides (PA6, PA66) as well as various specialty materials (PA46, PA410 and specialty polyesters as well as PPS). Around 2,000 employees work for the division at 9 production and 7 research sites in all relevant markets worldwide. In addition to Europe and the US, the business has a particularly strong presence in Asia.

LANXESS’ High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit is one of the leading producers of PA6 and PBT engineering polymers and thermoplastic fiber composites. A total of 2,000 employees at 10 production and 7 research sites worldwide work for HPM. The global production network is characterized by a high degree of backward integration. The backbone is the Antwerp/Belgium site. There, HPM produces not only PA6 polymers but also relevant precursors such as cyclohexanol, cyclohexanone, caprolactam and glass fibers.

Sustainable product portfolio
Both DEM and HPM are pioneers in sustainability, offering bio- and recycled-based alternatives across their product portfolios.

For example, LANXESS recently launched a new high-performance polymer that is made from 92 percent sustainable raw materials. In producing the polymer, LANXESS uses “green” cyclohexane from sustainable sources such as rapeseed oil or other biomass as a raw material. It is reinforced with 60 percent by weight glass fibers recycled from industrial glass waste.

Advent International is committed to partnering with portfolio companies, leveraging collective expertise, to enact more sustainable long-term growth. In the joint venture, the partners will continue to focus on ESG management while committing to creating a more sustainable future.

Future-oriented applications
The automotive industry is a focus for the new joint venture. There, the polymers are used, among other things, for lightweight elements in structural parts but also in the interior and often replace metal parts. In this way, weight can be saved and CO2 emissions reduced. An important growth area is electromobility. Here, polymers are used, for example, in the construction of battery and charging systems, electronic control systems and power electronics.

In addition, the materials are used in the electrical and electronics industry, for example in components for smartphones, IT and household appliances.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 390 private equity investments across 41 countries, and as of December 31, 2021, had $88 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 265 private equity investment professionals across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including industrial & chemicals, business and financial services; technology; health care and retail, consumer and leisure. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

Advent has invested in over 30 companies in the chemicals industry over recent years. Examples include Caldic, a globally leading specialty chemicals distributor, Röhm, one of the global market leaders in methacrylate chemicals, allnex, a global leader in resins for the paints and coatings industry, Oxea, a leading supplier of oxo alcohols and oxo derivatives, and VIAKEM, a leading manufacturer of fine chemicals.

Advent’s approach is to provide significant support to management teams by assisting with operating resources and expertise from its Portfolio Support Group and third-party Operating Partner program.

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