It was announced this week that chemicals multinational DuPont de Nemours is selling its Clean Technologies division to a consortium of international private equity investors, led by the newly launched New York industrial chemicals investor BroadPeak Global, China’s Asia Green Fund, and Saudi Arabia‘s Industrial Investments Company (Dussur).
The deal was made for $510 million in cash, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Eli Ben-Shoshan, Global Business Director of DuPont Clean Technologies, has been tapped to lead the business under its new ownership.
Established in 1925, DuPont Clean Technologies leads the global market for advanced technologies used in clean fuel production. These include technologies to produce and regenerate sulfuric acid, hydroprocessing technology to desulfurize motor fuels, alkylation technology to produce clean gasoline and advanced air pollution control systems for refineries and chemical facilities.
The deal marks the first major transaction for BroadPeak Global LP, a specialized industrials, materials and chemicals private equity firm that launched in late November of last year. The fund was founded by Stephen Toy and Nadim Qureshi, both former senior investment heads at WL Ross (the private equity firm of former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross) and Invesco Private Capital, along with 3 other co-founders from Invesco.
The BroadPeak team has a collective track record of more than $2 billion in equity deployed across these materials sectors in North America, Asia and Europe, 20 years of industry experience, and $10 billion in aggregate deal value.
Besides its deep sector expertise in materials, specialty and diversified chemicals, steel and aluminum, and general industrial and manufacturing, BroadPeak Global said upon its launched last fall that it would focus on highly strategic and complex transactions, including special situations and carve-outs on a global or multi-regional scale, through close partnerships with strategic players and management teams.
Announcing its debut deal with DuPont, BroadPeak Global co-founder Nadim Qureshi said the firm was excited to bring a “mission-critical business” to its portfolio.
“DuPont Clean Technologies is a leader in the sulfuric acid, alkylation and scrubbing sectors, with world-class products and aftermarket services,” he said. “We intend to build on this strong foundation and further expand the business with the support of management and our strategic partners.”
Broadpeak Global was joined in the consortium by strategic private equity investors in Asia and the Middle East, including Asia Green Fund (AGF), the first private equity fund in China to institutionalize ESG policies and conduct formal “green impact” assessments” on its investments. Last fall, AGF Chairman and CEO Dr. Bo Bai was named one of China’s top three Impact Investors by the China Social Enterprise and Impact Investment Forum.
“The superior technological suite provided by DuPont Clean Technologies will play an instrumental role in helping countries across the world and particularly Asia Pacific tackle environmental issues, push toward carbon neutrality, reduce pollution from mining, oil refining, and chemical industries and upgrade fuel quality,” Dr. Bai said upon announcing the deal with DuPont. “AGF is excited to partner with a synergistic group of co-investors and a strong management team to further the global green impact of Clean Technologies.”
The third member of the PE consortium was Saudi Arabia’s industrial investment fund, Dussur, which is half owned by Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, with the other half jointly held by Saudi national oil producer Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). The fund makes sustainably-focused investments across the value chain for titanium, aluminum, specialty steel, zinc and copper, and high value alloy agents, along with specialty chemicals. In 2017, Dussur launched a joint venture with GE valued at more than SAR 1 billion (around $267 million in 2021 dollars) to localize the production of gas turbines in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Raed Al-Rayes, Dussur’s CEO, said, “The Clean Technologies business established by DuPont has unique, environmentally focused, advanced capabilities that present strong synergies with Saudi Arabia’s strategic industrial sectors. We are excited to partner with a dynamic industrial consortium and help expand the business’s footprint across our region and globally.”