Chemical Insights Newsletter
Each quarter, Grace Matthews publishes a newsletter that features articles about trends in the chemical industry, highlighting a different sector every issue. Click below to read our recent issues. If you would like to receive a hard copy of any, please contact Michelle Tveten at 414.278.1120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Controlling the Chaos: Navigating the M&A Environment Thus Far in 2021 (Summer 2021)
In the first half of 2021, M&A activity has been at or near record highs. Sellers looking to explore a sale process are met with buyers with aggressive appetites for transactions and record levels of capital. We are being asked, how are we navigating this uniquely chaotic M&A environment? What are buyers doing to win, and why is preparation the key in a seller's market? In this edition of Chemical Insights, we offer up a few observations that exemplify the competitive dynamics we are seeing in processes today and touch on what it means for both buyers and sellers to succeed in a transaction process.
Current State of Chemicals M&A: Catching Our Breath Heading Into 2021 (Winter 2021)
As we start the new year, the current M&A market has many similarities to the end of 2019: increasing deal activity in terms of both completed processes and projects being launched; strong appetite from both private equity and strategic acquirers; and an overarching sense of optimism in terms of deal activity and deal momentum. However, as we reflect on the year behind us and what lies ahead, we can all agree - the path from December 2019 to December 2020 was a (we hope) once-in-a-lifetime roller coaster. We often spend our newsletters focused on analyzing trends and data in a particular segment - in this issue we focus on reflecting on the year behind us and what we feel is ahead in the next couple of quarters.
Moving Forward: Timing A Business Sale In Today's Environment (Fall 2020)
As M&A advisors in the chemicals & materials industry, we often engage in discussions with business owners months and years before a transaction. “How do I know when it’s the right time to sell?” is the question that inevitably arises. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this question became more difficult to answer. We help potential sellers think through this question by breaking it down into two separate questions: “Is the Market Ready?” and “Is the Business Ready?” In this edition of Chemical Insights, we explore these questions and share our thoughts to provide potential sellers with a framework for how to determine when to pursue a transaction.
Conversations With The Chemical M&A Industry: What Buyers/Sellers Are Saying (Summer 2020)
After 2019 provided outstanding equity returns, as the S&P 500 was up ~30%, and M&A levels were strong, we began 2020 with all major stock indices trading at or near all-time highs and expectations of continued M&A activity. However, since our last newsletter, a global pandemic unfolded, and the full extent of its impact on the chemical industry is still unknown. Based on our conversations within our industry network and having advised on multiple transactions that closed since April 1, we can explain what we’ve seen unfold, what we’ve heard from strategics, private equity investors, and private business owners, and what we are expecting to drive deal activity in the near-term.
Chemicals M&A Continues to Chug Along: 2020 Industry Outlook (Winter 2020)
We begin 2020 with all major stock indices trading at or near all-time highs, and 2019 having provided outstanding equity returns with the S&P 500 up approximately 30%. Despite the market strength, we hear mixed reports regarding the outlook for 2020 for the global market and chemical industry, as well as for middle market chemicals M&A. In this issue of Chemical Insights, we dig deeper into the macroeconomic conditions, what it means for M&A in various sectors within the chemical industry, and why we recommend staying ahead of the curve going into 2020.
Heating Up: Exit Opportunities for Independent Producers in the Consolidating Lubricants and Greases Industry (Fall 2019)
For the lubricants and greases industry, a confluence of market conditions: a massive and fragmented sector, low-growth environment and shifting consumer demands has created an environment ripe for consolidation - a true sellers' market. For independent lubricant manufacturers thinking about a future sale, this industry dynamic creates opportunities, but also requires a great deal of preparation to achieve a successful outcome. In this edition of Chemical Insights, we provide an overview of some of the key consolidation drivers in the lubricants industry and offer several thoughts on how privately held lubricant and grease producers can best position themselves for a successful transaction.
Corporate Divestitures: Carving Out Value (Summer 2019)
In our previous newsletter, we described the state of the Chemicals M&A market and outlined our expectations and predictions for activity in 2019. One important prediction was our expectation for an increase in carve-out activity focused on asset pruning and portfolio management. In this newsletter, we dig further into carve-outs, outlining the various drivers of carve-out activity as well as key focus items to consider when embarking on a potential divestiture.
Looking Ahead: Door Remains Open for Chemicals Middle Market M&A in 2019 (Winter 2018)
Through the first nine months of 2018, the public equities markets, particularly in chemicals, appeared to be trending toward a slightly positive year-end performance. However, the general decline in public equities in Q4 2018 threw a wrench into year-end performance. This, combined with slowing growth in Asia, potential tariff wars with China, and Brexit, has caused a noticeable degree of market anxiety. In this edition of the Grace Matthews newsletter, we answer the question, "What does this mean for M&A in 2019?" and discuss our views on why the door remains open for chemicals middle market M&A activity in 2019.
Emergence of Private Equity in Chemicals M&A (Spring 2018)
Our Spring 2018 edition of Chemical Insights is part two of a two-part series on the emergence of private equity in the chemicals M&A industry. In this issue, we discuss ways in which we believe strategic buyers can develop counter strategies and practices to increase their own competitiveness in M&A. Additionally, we examine a few key takeaways from the tax reform bill and their potential impact on chemicals M&A. You can also find a list of recent M&A transactions in the chemicals space, and the Grace Matthews Chemical Index.
Emergence of Private Equity in Chemicals M&A (Fall 2017)
Each quarter, Grace Matthews brings you a newsletter that features articles about trends in the chemical industry. Our Fall 2017 edition of Chemical Insights is part one of a two-part series on the emergence of PE in the chemicals M&A industry. The article goes in depth on how and why private equity wins deals. You can also find a list of recent private equity involved M&A transactions in the chemicals space, and the Grace Matthews Chemical Index.
The Sweet Spot: Value-Added Distribution (Spring 2017)
Our Spring 2017 edition of Chemical Insights features an article on value-added distribution in the M&A market, including a list of recent deals in the space, and the Grace Matthews Chemical Index featuring distribution companies.
The Gold Rush: Chemicals M&A 2016 - 2017 (Winter 2016-17)
Our Winter 2016-17 edition of Chemical Insights looks back at some of the impactful moments of 2016, as well as a preview of 2017. The publication also features a list announced transactions from 2016, and the Grace Matthews Chemical Index.
Seismic Shock: How Large Deals Affect the Entire Value Chain (Summer 2016)
Our Summer 2016 edition of Chemical Insights shows how the entire value chain is affected when industry giants merge or are acquired, illustrated by a number of recently announced deals in the agricultural chemicals and coatings industries. The publication also features a list of recently announced chemical transactions with values over $1 billion, and the Grace Matthews Chemical Index.
Corporate Carve-Outs: A Key Tool to Value Creation (Spring 2016)
The spring 2016 edition of Chemical Insights features corporate carve-outs in the industry as well as a list of the most significant corporate mergers, divestitures, and corporate carve-outs since the beginning of 2015, and the Grace Matthews Chemical Index.
Chemicals M&A 2015 - 2016: This Time It Really Is Different (Winter 2015-16)
The winter 2015-16 edition of Chemical Insights features the year in review from an M&A perspective, and how the industry may be undergoing a fundamental transformation. The publication also includes a list of the most significant deals this year, as well as the Grace Matthews Chemical Index.
Paints & Coatings: The Advantages of Scale in M&A (Fall 2015)
The fall 2015 edition of Chemical Insights is focused on the paints and coatings market and the advantages of scale in mergers and acquisitions. The publication also includes a list of recent M&A transactions in the market, as well as the Grace Matthews Coatings Index.
Adhesives & Sealants: Still Evolving (Summer 2015)
The summer 2015 edition of Chemical Insights is focused on the adhesives and sealants market and how it continues to evolve through technology and the economy. The publication also includes a list of recent M&A transactions in the market, as well as the Grace Matthews Adhesives & Sealants Index.
Water Treatment Chemicals (Spring 2015)
For the first issue of Chemical Insights, we decided to feature water treatment chemicals and our views on some of the pitfalls of relying too much on average EBITDA multiples as a guide to valuing specific companies. It also includes the Grace Matthews Chemical Index, which tracks a time series of valuation multiples for 48 publicly traded chemical firms.