As a result of a busted sale process, our client, Pacific Avenue Capital Partners (PACP), was given a second opportunity to bid on the carve-out acquisition of three specialty chemical products lines, along with five manufacturing facilities on three continents, from their parent company, TotalEnergies. Transaction Services Agreements were available for some of the administrative functions, but the assets would be spun-out with only a skeletal headquarters leadership team. The target date for close was less than 100 days away. The financing process was underway, but line-of-sight to a strong leadership team was central to the investment thesis, the Investment Committee, and the fund’s limited partners.
PACP had been interested in developing a Specialty Chemical platform for some time. Vardis had previously supported their diligence efforts in carve-outs from two other global petrochemical companies; one in the US and one in Europe. The timing, the limited availability of TSA’s, and the fact that no CEO, no CFO, and no Chief Commercial Officer would accompany the assets was daunting. During the initial conversations with the investment team and operating partner, the headquarters location had not yet been determined. As this transaction was intended to be the first within the investor’s new fund, it was imperative to address the need quickly with proven leadership.
Working in support of the firm’s deal team (Chris Sznewajs & Jonathon Sinnott) and operating team (Allen Schaar & Dave Kreilein), Vardis completed the CEO and CFO searches prior to close. Joan Braca (CEO) and Anthony Glauser (CFO) were able to join PACP as consultants to support their final diligence and then transitioned to employee status with the close of the transaction. Nick Kob joined the team as Chief Commercial Officer within 60-days of close. Braca had previously been CEO of Johnson Matthey Clean Air and serves on the Board of Directors of Univar Solutions (owned by Apollo) and Elo Life Systems. Glauser had most recently served as CFO of NeoGraf Solutions through its ownership by Aterian Investment Partners. Nick Kob was previously the Commercial Division President of EverZinc and earlier served as Commercial Vice President with Ingevity.