Azelis group CEO interviewed for ICIS Chemical Business

For the latest edition of ICIS Chemical Business, the Azelis group CEO takes time to talk about our business and the industry in general.

The sale of specialty distributor Azelis to Swedish private equity firm EQT will take place by November, company CEO Hans Joachim Muller said on 8 October.

Muller said that earlier plans for an initial public offering (IPO) were abandoned after several bids were made for Azelis ahead of the planned IPO launch. The sale by owners Apax Partners to EQT is just waiting for one more regulatory approval.

“By November we expect to be through with all the approvals. We are just waiting for a regulatory approval from one economy. It won’t stop the transaction – if it not issued by the end of October then it is automatically granted and it cannot be blocked.”

Muller explained that the IPO process had been going on for a couple of years and the middle of last year the company started to get more engaged in setting this up.

“Then our owners, Apax, got a bid last March from another private equity group followed by more bids. They explored the bids and a dual track process brought us to a new owner, EQT.”



Muller sees organic growth as the key element in its strategy, as this also enables its principals to grow.

“Another pillar of growth is when principals move business to us if they are not happy with an existing distributor in a geography – a transfer of mandates. M&A is the third pillar of growth.”

Five to six years ago Azelis was not present in Asian markets but this year the group expects to achieve around €200m of sales there.

“We will do more to grow our presence in Asia Pacific whilst continuing to drive our business in EMEA and the Americas. Within five years our ambition is to generate almost one third of revenues from APAC from around 8% today – we now have presence in most of the geographies in APAC.”

Azelis forecasts to end the year at €1.9bn plus in sales – on a like-for-like basis this is high single-digit growth, which Muller expects to continue.

“We will continue to invest in people and labs – from 12 labs in 2012 to 55 today. We will continue to drive innovation through formulation,” said Muller.

CLICK HERE to hear the CEO of Azelis describe how an IPO plan was switched to another private equity sale

Credits to ICIS Chemical Business and link to the full article.