Univar Solutions Going Private in $8.1B Deal

The transaction between the chemicals and food ingredients distributor and private equity firm Apollo is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
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Global specialty chemical and food ingredient distributor Univar Solutions announced March 14 it has agreed to be acquired by New York-based private equity firm Apollo. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $8.1 billion, according to a news release, and includes a minority investment from a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).

Univar Solutions shareholders will receive $36.15 per share in cash, which represents a 20.6% premium to Univar’s closing stock price on Nov. 22, 2022, according to the release. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

“Over the last three years, we have transformed the company, putting the customer at the center of all we do, which has solidified our position as a leading value-added service and solution provider,” Univar President and CEO David Jukes said in the release. “This transaction reflects the success of our strategy and delivers substantial value to our shareholders. It is a testament to the tireless efforts of my colleagues, whose commitment to our purpose of helping keep our communities healthy, fed, clean and safe has enabled our success. In Apollo, we are pleased to gain a partner to support continued investment in our portfolio and I look forward to working closely with their team as we grow Univar Solutions and serve our key suppliers and customers globally.”

“Univar is a global leader in specialty chemicals and ingredients distribution, fueling a vast array of industries with innovative, safe and sustainable solutions,” Apollo Partner Sam Feinstein said in the release. “In recent years, David and his team have made tremendous progress enhancing the customer experience, and we believe Univar can accelerate its long-term strategy as an Apollo Fund portfolio company. We look forward to leveraging our extensive experience in the sector to support management in this exciting next phase.”

Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank Securities are serving as financial advisors to Univar while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are serving as lead counsel for Univar, according to the release. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is serving as legal counsel for Apollo and J.P. Morgan Securities is Apollo’s lead financial advisor. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is serving as legal counsel for ADIA.

Downers Grove, Illinois-based Univar confirmed shortly after the new year that it had ended discussions with chemical distributor Brenntag SE, with whom it had been pursuing a potential transaction. Earlier this month, Univar announced a distribution agreement with Leprino Foods Company. Leprino selected Univar as an authorized distributor of nutritional ingredients and dairy products in the U.S. and Canada.

Univar also reported its 2022 fourth-quarter and full-year financials in February. The distributor had net income of $71.6 million in 4Q, down from $156.8 million in 4Q 2021, but posted record net income of $545.3 million for the full year 2022.

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