Indianapolis-based Vertellus Specialties Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire the Sodium Borohydride business from Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW). The unit manufactures agents used in making pharmaceutical ingredients.

December 5, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Vertellus, a leading producer of specialty chemicals for the life sciences sector and other industrial applications, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Sodium Borohydride (“SBH”) business, including associated assets, from the Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”). Vertellus is a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm Wind Point Partners. Wind Point acquired Vertellus in partnership with CEO Rich Preziotti.

The SBH Business is the leading manufacturer of sodium borohydride used in the synthesis of fine chemicals such as pharmaceutical ingredients and agrochemicals. Sodium borohydride is predominantly used as a critical synthesis and process aid in the production of a wide variety of active pharmaceutical ingredients including high growth antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. It is also used in bleaching applications, such as mechanical wood pulping for newspaper and tissue production.

The acquisition accelerates Vertellus' strategy to expand its product offerings in the life science sector through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Revenues from life science applications represent more than 65 percent of the company's total revenue, and Vertellus expects the acquisition will significantly increase its ability to provide tailored solutions to the pharmaceutical and agriculture sector.

Remarking on the acquisition, Preziotti stated, “Vertellus is impressed with the SBH Business' market leading position in the supply of processing aids to fine chemical customers, specifically pharmaceutical and agrochemical manufacturers. We are excited about the opportunity to serve the high growth synthesis segment from the SBH Business' world class manufacturing facility in Elma, Washington.”

“Completing strategic acquisitions is a key driver of our value creation plan, and with the SBH business as well as our recent acquisition of Pentagon Chemicals PLC, we are successfully diversifying our portfolio with a focus on specialty chemicals, particularly in life sciences and high growth industrial markets,” said Alex Washington, a managing director at Wind Point Partners. “The SBH Business is attractive and highly complementary to our existing portfolio of products, including processing aids such as Vitride reducing agents for the fine chemicals industry.”

Planning to transition the SBH business into Vertellus is underway. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

About Vertellus:

Vertellus is a global specialty chemicals company focused on the manufacture of ingredients used in pharmaceuticals, personal care, nutrition, agriculture, and a host of other market areas affected by trends favoring “green” technologies and chemistries. Vertellus is the #1 global producer of pyridine and picolines, specialty pyridine derivatives, DEET, castor oil derivatives and systems, and a world leader in vitamin B3, citrate polymer additives and systems as well as a leader in custom manufacturing of agriculture and pharma intermediates and actives. Vertellus benefits from a technically advanced global manufacturing base and has over 1,000 employees. Vertellus is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

About Wind Point Partners:

Wind Point Partners is a private equity investment firm that partners with top caliber CEOs to acquire middle market businesses where we can establish a clear path to value creation. Since our founding in 1984, we have raised over $2.8 billion in commitments. Additional information about Wind Point is available at

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