Azelis secures new funding, announces CEO
Owner 3i injects €30 million in distributor
Azelis, one of the major distributors of speciality chemicals, has announced a capital increase from its existing group of shareholders to fund future growth. Most of the €30 million has been provided by its majority owner, private equity firm 3i. The company has also renegotiated a range of financial parameters with its syndicate of lenders, attaining “greater operational flexibility”.
At the same time, Azelis announced that Dr Hans-Joachim Müller is to be its new CEO after Joris Coppye stepped down. “There are additional areas for growth that can be developed further. Among these are our business plans in Asia-Pacific as well as projects to selectively acquire new mandates and businesses in Europe and other regions,” said Müller.
A former BASF employee, Müller rose to be head of the Catalytic Technologies global business unit at Süd-Chemie. Following the merger with Clariant, he had sat on the executive committee, with responsibility for the Catalysis & Energy, Emulsions, Detergents & Intermediates and Oil & Mining Services business units.
Müller is to appoint a new CFO shortly; the incumbent, Günther Krausser, will move on to become a non-executive director, staying on until the appointment has been made. Laurent Nataf, meanwhile, is to take over responsibility for European operations in addition to his current role as group business development director. His focus in the new role will be on “achieving effective commercial execution across the group”.
According to Azelis, during his time as CEO, Coppye had transformed the company “from a confederation of entities into a strong integrated organisation with a dedicated market focus on selective business lines and principal development”. He also oversaw a rebranding and a new organisation model, supported by common IT and supply chain systems.
Azelis has continued to take on new operations. Most recently, it agreed to distribute the Robac range of rubber accelerators for UK-based firm Robinson Brothers in the Benelux region, with immediate effect. Plans are to extend this deal to France in 2013. It has also been named exclusive distributor in China and Hong Kong for the Food, Beverage, Consumer and Industrial segments of CP Kelco, a supplier of naturally-based products with whom it has worked since 1996.