Vantage Specialty Chemicals

Vantage Specialty Chemicals Inc., backed by the Jordan Co. private equity firm, is acquiring Mallet and Co. Inc. to expand its food ingredients business. Mallet’s seller is the ICV Partners private equity firm, while Vantage is owned by Jordan and Vantage’s management.

Mallet, of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, makes oils, shortenings and related ingredients used in baking, and it also sells commercial baking equipment. Chicago-based Vantage makes and distributes specialty chemicals used in personal care, food, consumer and industrial products, with six manufacturing plants in the U.S. and laboratories and offices in Latin America, South Africa, Europe and Asia.

Richard McEvoy, Vantage’s CEO, says that the Mallet acquisition will immediately expand Vantage’s food ingredients business and provide additional growth opportunities. Over the past year, Vantage has made four other growth investments, acquiring of one of the largest jojoba farms in Arizona from Cocopah Nurseries; Resources of Nature LLC, maker of ingredients used in personal care products; a majority stake in one of the world’s largest jojoba farms--Agrinsa, in Argentina; and technology patents for a gel and a salicylic acid used in personal care products from Essential Ingredients.

The Jordan Co., based in New York, is a middle-market PE firm with more than $8 billion in capital commitments. Jordan’s recent M&A activity has included its logistics company, American Fast Freight Inc., buying Global Transportation Services Inc., provider of ocean and air freight, customs brokerage and warehouse services. IVC Partners, based in Atlanta and New York, focuses on making control investments in companies with $25 million to $250 million in annual revenue.

Recent food ingredients M&A has included ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) selling JM Swank, distributor of grains, sweeteners and seeds, to Platinum Equity, and ConAgra also selling Spicetec, maker of flavors, spices and seasoning products for food manufacturers, to Givaudan for $340 million. Also, Highlander Partners, a middle-market PE firm, acquired Fuerst Day Lawson Holdings Ltd., distributor of amino acids, syrups and sweeteners for foods, beverages, fragrances and chemical companies.

William Blair & Co. LLC is Mallet’s financial adviser for the deal with Vantage. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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