IMCD CEO Piet van der Slikke in an interview to Speciality Chemicals Magazine

Dutch distributor IMCD’s buy-and-build approach has boosted the business in the past two decades, culminating in a successful stock exchange listing last year. Elaine Burridge reports.

A consistent focus on strengthening existing operations and entering new territories has driven Dutch company IMCD to become a major distributor of speciality chemicals. The Rotterdam-headquartered firm has grown significantly during the past 20 years, making more than 50 acquisitions to expand its European network and establish itself in overseas markets. IMCD’s buy-and-build approach, with a notably heavy buying spree in 2012 and 2013, eventually gave it the required size and spread to embark on an initial public offering (IPO) on the Amsterdam stock exchange in mid-2014. This made it the third publicly traded chemicals distributor in Europe, behind Brenntag and DKSH.

The IPO launched on Euronext on 27 June. IMCD and its majority owner, private equity company Bain Capital, which had bought its stake in February 2011 from AAC Capital, together allocated 25.3 million shares at an opening offer price of €21/share, valuing the firm at €1.05 billion and raising around €270 million of primary gross proceeds. 

CEO Piet van der Slikke says that the listing has given IMCD access to capital markets to fund future growth, reduced its debt and raised its profile. He concedes that the speciality chemicals distribution industry is generally not well known or easy to understand but believes that Brenntag’s IPO in 2010 helped pave the way in attracting attention from the financial world. 

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