Arrowpoint Advisory has advised Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services, on the divestment of Holchem, a UK-based supplier of hygiene and cleaning products and services, to Kersia, an international biosecurity and food safety company backed by French private equity firm, Ardian.
Holchem is a UK leader in detergents, disinfection and biosecurity solutions, the company generates its revenue mainly in the food and beverage sectors and is also active in the food service, retail and institutional sectors and dairy farming. Holchem achieved c.£47m of revenue in 2019 out of its two UK manufacturing facilities, the larger in Bury, Greater Manchester and a second in Liphook, Hampshire, both of which supply mainly the UK and Irish markets. Following the acquisition, the combined Holchem and Kersia Group will generate >€300m revenue, with 1,500 employees and 18 worldwide manufacturing plants.
Ecolab had acquired Holchem in December 2018 was subject to clearance by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), with the CMA ultimately ruling against the acquisition.
The divestment of Holchem reiterates Arrowpoint Advisory’s position as the advisor of choice for listed companies on UK transactions. This transaction is Arrowpoint Advisory’s fifth carve out transaction for listed companies since the start of 2018 in the Industrials sector alone, following on from the 2019 divestment of Elektron Technology’s Bulgin business and the 2018 divestments of Smiths Group plc’s Hydrodynamic Bearings businesses and Meggitt Plc’s photo-chemical etching company, Precision Micro.
The transaction also marks the second CMA related process that Arrowpoint has advised on in the last 12 months, following on from the May 2019 acquisition of Metal and Waste Recycling by Recycling Lives.
Stuart Middleton, Managing Director of Holchem, commented: “It was a pleasure to work with Graham, Tom and the rest of the Arrowpoint team; their commercial and technical knowledge was invaluable. They were friendly, hugely supportive and a committed partner in getting the team at Holchem through what was at times a difficult and complex process.”
Graham Carberry, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Ecolab, a true global leader, and with the entire team at Holchem who have done an extraordinary job supporting the UK’s critical food manufacturing and food retail supply chain at such an important time, all while going through a transaction process.”
Tom Smith, Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, concluded: “It has been a pleasure working with the Ecolab and Holchem teams and we are pleased that Holchem has found a good home with Kersia. We are also pleased to complete our team’s fifth carve out transaction for a listed company in the past two years and to deliver on Ecolab’s trust in us to do this.”