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USalco buys two

USalco, an HIG Capital affiliate that makes aluminium-based speciality chemicals mainly for water and wastewater treatment processes and refinery catalysts, has acquired Al Chem Specialties and CalChem. The two firms are also active in chemicals for municipal water treatment and wider industrial applications, with plants in Ohio and California. CEO Scott Williams will remain with the firms.

This follows HIG Capital’s investment into USalco in early 2020 and the appointment in November of its first CEO from outside the Askew family in Ken Gayer. Until the recent takeover by Mitsubishi Chemical, Gayer had been CEO of speciality silicones and silanes producer Gelest. He had previously had roles at McKinsey & Company, Polaroid and then Honeywell Specialty Products.

Peter Askew, who founded Al Chem and CalChem with his brother David in 1989 and is now co-chairman of the combined firm, described the acquisition as “an important step in our strategy to expand geographically and add high-value products to our portfolio of offerings”. It will both add to USalco’s presence in the Mid-West and give it a base in the West. In all, it has nine facilities across the US.

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