Azelis announces new CEO and capital increase

1 October 2012

The Azelis Board of Directors’ announce a series of key measures to advance Azelis’ development over the coming years. They include the appointment of Dr. Hans-Joachim Müller as the new Chief Executive Officer of Azelis Holding SA as Joris Coppye steps down, and a capital increase to fund future growth supporting the new CEO’s mandate for expansion.

In order to steer the next stages of Azelis’ successful development the Board is pleased to welcome Dr. Hans-Joachim Müller, as the new CEO of Azelis Holding SA.

Hans-Joachim Müller joins Azelis from Clariant where he sat on the Executive Committee. His responsibilities included the Business Units Catalysis & Energy, Emulsions, Detergents & Intermediates and Oil & Mining Services. Previously, at Süd-Chemie he was a Member of the Managing Board and Head of the Catalytic Technologies global Business Unit. His professional career started at BASF in Germany and continued in Hong Kong, where he was responsible for the catalyst business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hans-Joachim Müller takes over an energetic company that is geared for growth following its recent transformation under the leadership of Joris Coppye into an integrated business corporation. Joris Coppye successfully steered Azelis from a confederation of entities into a strong integrated organisation with a dedicated market focus on selective business lines and Principal development. The Group was rebranded and a new organisational model, with commercial excellence at its core, was supported by common IT systems and leading edge Supply Chain solutions.

Hans-Joachim Müller states “I am very pleased to be joining this dynamic company and look forward in anticipation to the challenges ahead. I aim to build upon our clear focus of value added growth within specialties and plan measures to invigorate our market dedicated commercial teams to maximize synergies and capture available opportunities via new and existing partner relationships.”

Underpinning the new CEO’s mandate and to finance further growth, in August 2012, the company’s existing group of shareholders injected a capital increase of 30 M€, with the majority being provided by 3i. In the course of the capital increase, Azelis also successfully renegotiated a range of financial parameters with its syndicate of lenders that will result in greater operational flexibility. The provision of the new funds demonstrates the shareholders’ commitment to Azelis and its prospects for continued expansion. The additional funding will allow Azelis to further strengthen its relationships with key principals and financial partners in order to achieve the ambitious growth targets that the group has set itself over the next few years.

Hans-Joachim Müller continues, “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. We have a clear focus to further bolster our position as the leading distributor of specialty chemicals.”

Supporting Hans-Joachim Müller will be Laurent Nataf who takes over responsibility for European Operations in addition to his current role within Azelis as Group Business Development Director. Laurent has extensive knowledge of the chemical distribution industry and more than 10 years service in Azelis. He will focus on achieving effective commercial execution across the group in his new role.

Hans-Joachim Müller will also appoint a new Chief Financial Officer in due course. After three years as CFO during the period of business transformation and successfully completing the recapitalization of Azelis in August, Günther Krausser will move on to become non-executive director in the Board of Azelis Holding SA. Günther will remain available to facilitate a seamless transition period until a new CFO is appointed.