Azelis gains important foothold in Nordic region

2 September 2005

Dianne Nott

It has been announced that Denmark-based chemicals distributor Brøste is to join the market-focused pan-European chemicals distribution group Azelis. This deal will provide the fast growing Azelis Group with geographic coverage of the important Nordic region and, subject to merger clearance, is expected to be closed before the end of 2005.

Brøste, a leading distributor of additives, ingredients and raw materials in the North European market, has a turnover exceeding €120 million and supplies raw materials and chemical specialties from blue chip producers. Among the company’s extensive product range are performance chemicals (horticultural, agricultural, industrial, detergents and cosmetics, oleo-chemicals), speciality chemicals (polymers, additives and coatings), food ingredients (general, savoury, health and bakery) and salt (de-icing, food grade and industrial).

With headquarters in Denmark, and with over 130 employees, Brøste also has subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Poland, the Baltic States and the UK.

Hans Udo Wenzel, CEO of Azelis Group, says: “This is a significant milestone in the realisation of the group’s ambition to become one of Europe’s leading specialty distributors. Brøste complements the sector- focused activities of Azelis which include Food, Pharma and Cosmetics, Veterinary, Plastics, Composites, Rubber Coatings and Chemical Industries. Brøste will provide us with access to additional markets in this important geographic region.

The company, which has been established since 1915, will continue to trade as Brøste under the current management team led by Chief Executive Officer, Jens U. Schrøder. Former owner, Peter Brøste will become a member of the Azelis Advisory Board and an investor in the Azelis Group.

Jens Schroder said, “Our entrepreneurial approach to doing business and our values and business vision fit very well with the Azelis culture. Day to day contacts with customers will remain the same ensuring continuity of knowledgeable local service and I believe that they, and all our other business partners, will benefit significantly from this decision to become part of Azelis.”

Brøste is the latest in a series of companies to join the Azelis Group over the last year, including Impex Quimica in Spain, Belgian companies Sepulchre and Sibeco, Pan Polymers in the UK, Brown & Gillmer in Ireland and the distribution activities of CMS in Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The stated aim of Azelis is to offer pan-European coverage to suppliers through the creation of an integrated network of established distributors who maintain the value of local presence and identities in their own markets. The group’s strategy of growth through acquisition was confirmed at the end of 2003 by Electra Partners Europe, who now own 70% of the equity and 60% of the voting rights in Azelis. The remaining shareholding lies in the hands of the international management team.

This latest addition to the Group takes the expected Azelis group sales in 2005 to over €820 million.