Harris Williams & Co. Advises KODA Distribution Group, Inc. on its Sale to Azelis Holding S.A.

December 21, 2015

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces the sale of KODA Distribution Group Inc. (KDG) to Azelis Holding S.A. (Azelis), a portfolio company of funds advised by Apax Partners (Apax). KDG, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity (Audax), is a leading distributor of specialty chemicals in North America. The cross border transaction was led by Ryan Nelson, Patrick McNulty, Darwin Olympia, Brad Morrison, Brandt Carr and Jenson Dunn of Harris Williams & Co.’s Industrials Group.

“As the largest specialty chemicals distributor in North America, KDG aligns well with Azelis’ strategy to create a truly global footprint encompassing a diverse set of end markets and geographies,” said Ryan Nelson, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co. “This transaction accelerates Azelis’ path to becoming the premier specialty chemicals distributor in the world. The sale of KDG represents another marquee transaction for Harris Williams & Co. in both the chemicals and specialty distribution sectors – two areas where we continue to see strong momentum.”

“It has been a pleasure working with CEO Frank Bergonzi and the rest of the company’s seasoned management team,” added Darwin Olympia, a director at Harris Williams & Co. “We expect that KDG, with the support of its new partner, will continue its strong track record of market leadership by pursuing expansion through an exciting pipeline of strategic initiatives, including acquisitions and new end markets.”

Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, KDG is a leading specialty chemicals distributor in North America organized around the following verticals: CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers), CARE, industrial (plastics, lubes and metalworking), specialty agriculture, life sciences and Canada. Each vertical shares similar approaches to their markets: deep technical expertise and market knowledge; a service platform that includes marketing and product management; a focus on customer relationships; and a devotion to customer service.

Audax Group is an alternative asset management firm specializing in investments in middle market companies. With offices in Boston, New York and Menlo Park, Audax Group has $9 billion in assets under management across its Private Equity, Mezzanine and Senior Debt businesses. 

Azelis is a leading global specialty chemicals distributor providing a diverse range of innovative products and services. The company serves 20,000 customers in the coatings, chemicals, rubber and plastic additives, food and health, animal nutrition, pharma and personal care industries. Through sourcing and distribution channels around the world, Azelis with its corporate service center in Antwerp, Belgium, offers chemical producers market penetration, in-depth local knowledge, value-added services and tailored multi-territory solutions. The company has more than 37 facilities in 35 countries across Europe, China, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Morocco.

Apax is a leading global private equity advisory firm. It operates globally and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Apax has advised funds that total over €34 billion in aggregate as of March 31, 2015. Funds advised by Apax invest in companies across four global sectors of healthcare, consumer, tech and telco and services. These funds provide long‐term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies.

Harris Williams & Co. (www.harriswilliams.com), a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.  Harris Williams & Co. provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements and capital markets advisory services.

Harris Williams & Co.’s Industrials Group has experience across a variety of sectors, including advanced manufacturing; aggregates, metals, and mining; building products; chemicals and specialty materials; industrial technology; and packaging. For more information on the firm’s Industrials Group and other recent transactions, visit the Industrials Group’s section of the Harris Williams & Co. website.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.