They've got chemistry: UK private equity firm snaps up German catalyst maker

William Turvill
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Chemistry Lab
United Initiators produces catalysts for chemical processes (Source: Getty)

UK private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in a German chemical initiators company.

Equistone has acquired the stake in United Initiators from Vision Capital and Speyside Equity for an undisclosed sum.

United Initiators, which is based in Pullach, Germany, produces catalysts for chemical processes.

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The company employs 600 full-time staff and operates seven production facilities across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

It claims a bluechip customer base across local and global markets and reported a 2015 revenue of €236m (£204m).

Marc Arens, a partner at Equistone, said:

With strong technological and market know-how, excellent customer relations and a history of more than a hundred years, United Initiators has established a leading global market position. With our extensive expertise in further developing medium-sized enterprises, together with the management and the staff of United Initiators we want to capitalise on new opportunities and support its global growth strategy.

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Vision Capital was invested in United Initiators over five years, overseeing two bolt-on acquisitions, management changes and investment in production facilities, including a new plant in China. The firm achieved a 3.5-times return on investment.

Dave Lamb, head of the European investment team at Vision Capital, said: “The management team has shown great passion and drive expanding the business, building the customer base and inspiring their people.”

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