Harris Williams professionals regularly attend industry conferences and events. On the flight home, they share three key takeaways to help shape your priorities.
Event: Specialty & Custom Chemicals America
Report by: Patrick McNulty, managing director; John Lautemann, director; and Ty Denoncourt, vice president; all of the Harris Williams Industrial Group
Why is this an important event for professionals active in this industry?
Lautemann: There are a vast number of subsectors within the chemical and specialty materials industry, and many industry events are narrowly focused on one or a few of them. Specialty & Custom Chemicals America offers perhaps the best networking opportunities for professionals interested in a range of end markets and applications across specialty chemicals.
Which trends, companies or business models were top of mind at the event?
What opportunities are these dynamics creating for strategic buyers and private equity investors?
McNulty: After an active year for Harris Williams across chemicals and specialty materials—we recently advised DuBois Chemicals on its sale to Altas Partners, and announced the pending sale of Kissner Group Holdings to Stone Canyon Industries—we anticipate another active year for M&A in 2020, despite uncertainty related to the coronavirus and the election in the U.S.
Lautemann: Specifically, we anticipate that corporate carve-out activity will remain elevated and that a broader group of private equity groups will join in the pursuit of those assets. We also see stronger interest in subsectors such as flavors and fragrances, specialty coating and adhesives, distribution, electronics, and we expect multiples in those segments to remain at or near all-time highs. As a result, owners of businesses in these sectors and others will be under some pressure to consider shorter holds given such supportive conditions.
Published March 2020