MEA – Azelis, a leading distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients, has entered into an agreement to acquire Orkila, the top specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor throughout Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, the Orkila group runs offices in 13 countries and is active in more than 30 countries in the region.

Through this transaction Azelis intends to acquire 100% of Orkila, with over 220 employees joining the Azelis team.

Established in 2005, Orkila has grown to become a major food ingredients distributor in the region, with sales into multiple market segments, including pharmaceuticals, food, agrochemicals and animal nutrition among other sectors.

Azelis sees a vibrant and growing marketplace across Africa and Middle East especially at a time when Africa has been experiencing economic acceleration, growing middle class and improved business environment.

The company notes that this provides Azelis and its principals with the opportunity to accelerate their growth in the region.

Dr. Hans Joachim Müller, Azelis Chief Executive Officer & President, comments: “We are very excited that Orkila will become a part of Azelis.

“They are a well-established company, known in Africa and the Middle East for their high quality expertise and service.

“We have been impressed by Orkila’s committed management, the similarity of our business models and excellent cultural fit. We know that many of our principals are currently looking into strengthening their activities in Africa.

“Combining the strength of a leading regional specialty distributor with the strength of Azelis will result in an excellent and unique platform for organic growth.”

Orkila has opened an application lab in Egypt to serves both food and personal care customers.

The company also offers accredited laboratory testing coupled with the ability to develop and introduce innovative products, create and enhance formulations.

Antoine Sacy, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Orkila, said:  “After almost 15 years of growing on a stand-alone basis, it is time for us to move into global waters.

“Joining a well established global player such as Azelis will enable us not only to continue to deliver high quality products and services that our customers are accustomed to, but also to access new growth opportunities.

“It will enable us to continue to thrive under their ownership, securing unparalleled service to our customers, superior growth for our principals and a highly rewarding work environment for our employees.”

To ensure business continuity, Audrey Sacy Aris and Christophe Sacy, as well as other senior managers, will continue to run the operations going forward. The transaction is expected to complete in the next four months.

The acquisition creates a unique combination of both Azelis’ innovation & formulation potential, and Orkila’s strong local presence and regional expertise.