NETHERLANDS — Advent International and Wilbur-Ellis have reached an agreement to merge their life sciences and specialty chemicals solutions businesses, Caldic B.V. and Connell, to create a global leader in their sector.

Caldic will benefit by increasing its global presence in the specialty ingredients and chemicals for the life sciences and industrial formulation markets through a merger with Connell, which is one of the major players in Asia-Pacific.

The merger will further accelerate growth opportunities for principals and customers and drive further investments into people, technical labs, and sites.

Together, Caldic and Connell will have more than 3,800 employees across 43 countries and will generate sales of about EUR3 billion (US$2.92 billion).

Their combined capacity will also provide solutions to more than 35,000 customers by leveraging 75 formulation centers and application labs and deep application know-how.

Ronald Ayles, managing partner at Advent International, said: “By bringing together the highly complementary businesses of Caldic and Connell, we will form a truly global business with significant exposure to high-growth regions and very diversified end markets with a high value-add offering.

Together, Caldic and Connell will have more than 3,800 employees across 43 countries and will generate sales of about EUR3 billion (US$2.92 billion).

“We look forward to working together with Wilbur-Ellis and the management teams of both Caldic and Connell in this exciting new chapter which brings synergistic business development opportunities for principals and customers alike.”

In recent years, Caldic has stood out as a rapidly growing, innovation-driven player with continuous investments in value-add capabilities.

The company has also established itself as a leading player in attractive and high-growth life science end-markets and has a track record of acquiring companies and subsequently integrating and accelerating their growth under its ownership.

Its merger with Cornell builds on this track record, leveraging Connell’s strength to meet customer-specific requirements through customized formulation and marketing support, and dedication.

Azita Owlia will serve as CEO of the combined entities in Asia-Pacific once the transaction is closed in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

SunOpta sells sunflower business

Meanwhile, SunOpta Inc. has sold its sunflower and roasted snacks business to private equity firm, Pacific Avenue Capital Partners for US$16 million.

The acquisition includes three of SunOpta’s facilities based in Crookston and Breckenridge, Minn., and Grace City, ND, which will now operate under the Sunrich Products label.

“This divestiture of a non-core business represents further progress against our strategic imperative of portfolio transformation, focusing on high-growth, high-return opportunities that are differentiated and leverage the competitive strengths of our unique model,” said Joe Ennen, chief executive officer of SunOpta.

The company said it will focus on its plant-based foods and beverages business following the divestiture, including its line of oat, almond, soy, rice, coconut, and hemp-based products.

SunOpta has been rapidly scaling its plant-based portfolio since 2020, with oat milk sales serving as a primary growth driver.

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