Global chemical distribution M & A is ripe

Global M&A opportunities in the chemical distribution industry are widespread, and the timing of mergers and acquisitions is ripe, especially in Asia and North America, where the degree of dispersion is relatively high. PwC's two senior advisors, Mike Clements and Mark Hahnen, said recently.

The two consultants of PricewaterhouseCoopers believe that the distribution market has a high degree of dispersion and it is necessary to establish a business model that can withstand the economic downturn. This is the best time for mergers and acquisitions. On the one hand, many private equity funds want to enter the distribution market; on the other hand, because the capital market has started to thaw, existing distributors expect that the conditions for becoming bigger and stronger are already in place.

The two analysts pointed out that the latest research shows that the top five global distributors control only 15% of the market share.

Including about 70% of specialty chemicals, 58% of polypropylene and 91% of polycarbonate market. They said that in terms of geographic segmentation, the timing of mergers and acquisitions in the Asian and Latin American markets is particularly mature because of the relatively high degree of fragmentation in these regions. For example, India's top five distributors control only 15% of the distribution market share, which is about 28% in Brazil and Mexico, compared with 45% to 50% in the United States and Belgium.

Hahnen stressed that there are still many mergers and acquisitions pending in the industry. He said: “Many distribution companies were initially established as home-based workshops, mainly serving small customers. With the integration of customers, they have gradually created specialized distributors, but their development is still lagging behind. There are still many problems that need to be solved. Solve perfection."

Clements suggests that chemical distributors can make profits during the economic downturn. He said: “After you get a relatively fixed unit profit rate, you can get the same profits regardless of whether the price of the product goes up or down.” It is reported that the chemical distributor has a lower fixed fee compared with chemical manufacturers. Therefore, even if the earnings decline in the economic downturn, it is still possible to ensure profitability.

According to reports, a comparison of profits between chemical manufacturers and distributors in 2007 and 2008 shows that the average increase in profits of distributors is 22%. During the same period, the average operating profit of bulk chemical manufacturers fell by an average of 163% year-on-year, and the average decline in specialty chemicals was 41%.

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