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Solenis acquires German chemical manufacturer

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Solenis, a chemical firm headquartered at Avenue North in the Wilmington suburbs, has made its first bolt-on acquisition under its new ownership group. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON — Solenis, the Wilmington-headquartered global producer of specialty chemicals used in water-intensive industries, acquired a German product supply manufacturer for an industry it’s targeting for growth.

It closed the acquisition for all outstanding shares of SCL GmbH on Tuesday. Terms of the acquisition between the two privately owned companies were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Ludwigshafen in west central Germany, SCL produces dimethylaminoethyl acrylate, or DMA3, a primary raw material in the production of a group of water-soluble polymers with a wide range of applications. The acquisition is part of Solenis’ insourcing strategy and supports its global polyacrylamide growth plan.

Solenis CEO John Panichella | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

“The acquisition of this business provides Solenis with a backward integration that supports our polyacrylamide growth plan and better enables us to provide strategic products to our customers around the world,” said John Panichella, CEO of Solenis, in a statement announcing the deal. “This is our first bolt-on acquisition following our recent ownership change to Platinum Equity. The support by the Platinum team for our strategic growth plan has been excellent, and I am confident that our partnership will yield more of these projects in the future.”

SCL was founded in 2009 after industry veteran entrepreneur Siegfried Menk and co-investor Georg Kosing acquired the DMA3 business line from global chemical giant BASF SE.

Menk is known to Delaware’s chemical industry after he led the global water treatment business of Greenville-headquartered Ashland Inc. following its acquisition of the business line from German firm Degussa in 2006.

The partners have quickly built SCL into a leading manufacturer of DMA3, which aids the treatment of municipal wastewater and the extraction of drinking water from surface sources, while also serving as a principal retention aid in the paper printing industry.

All of those are applications of interest for Solenis, which was acquired by California-based private equity investment firm Platinum Equity last fall for $5.25 billion. Solenis emerged from former Hercules and Ashland water treatment divisions dating back to 1907, launching its current iteration in 2015.

Solenis currently serves two primary segments: consumer solutions for food packaging, graphic paper, and tissue and towel markets; and industrial solutions for core water treatment and wastewater markets. As a result of its Platinum Equity acquisition, it also merged operations with former firm Sigura, which specialized in the production and sale of water care solutions and value-added services for residential and commercial pool and spa applications as well as industrial markets.

Solenis now has 47 manufacturing facilities worldwide and employs over 6,000 in 120 countries across five continents. It opened a new headquarters at Avenue North off U.S. Route 202 in 2020, and employs several hundred people in Delaware there and a research and development lab leased on the Ashland campus off Hercules Road.

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