News Article 2018

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June 29 2018, David R Brown

Whyte Chemicals, one of the UK's largest remaining privately-owned chemical distributors, has been acquired out of administration by the OQEMA Group

Whyte Chemicals has been acquired out of administration by the UK division of OQEMA (formerly Overlack). Founded in 1976, Whyte Chemicals is based in North London with its main distribution centre based at a nine-acre site in Denaby, South Yorkshire. The chemical distribution business is one of the largest privately owned distributors of chemicals in the UK, with an annual turnover of around £70m and 44 employees.

Whyte Chemicals has been a driving force in the industry and we are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead

Robert Moss
Managing Director of OQEMA Ltd

The sale follows the appointment of Andrew Andronikou and Paul Zalkin, of business advisory and corporate recovery firm Quantuma, as joint administrators of Whyte Chemicals Ltd after the company, based in north London and Denaby, South Yorkshire, was forced to restructure its credit facilities earlier this year.

Robert Moss, managing director of OQEMA Ltd, the UK division of the Germany-based OQEMA AG group, said: “We are delighted to welcome a strong force in the UK chemical distribution industry into the OQEMA family. “Whyte Chemicals has been a driving force in the industry and we are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. We believe the new company will be able to capitalise on the solid business created by Melvyn Whyte over 40 years ago.”

Mr Whyte will remain an advisor to the new company until the end of the year to help manage the transition.

Andronikou said: “The last few months have been a testing time for the suppliers, customers and loyal staff of Whyte Chemicals Ltd. “Without their forbearance and understanding the job of rescuing this leading name in the chemical distribution industry would not have been possible.”

All staff will transfer to a new company called OQEMA Whyte Ltd. OQEMA Ltd was formed by the acquisition of Lansdowne Chemical in 2015 by the then Germany-based Overlack Group. The rest of the Whyte Group of companies remain unaffected by the transaction.

OQEMA is an internationally active distribution company for basic chemicals and specialities headquartered in Mönchengladbach, Germany. In addition to the distribution and marketing of products, OQEMA also operates a chemical manufacturing division (manufacturing nitrate products) and a specialist Hydrazine Hydrate dilution facility. Founded in 1922 the business remains privately owned by the Overlack family. OQEMA serves customers globally, providing a broad range of products in areas including CASE, homecare & industrial cleaning, life sciences, lubricants, plastic & rubber, textile & leather and water treatment. In 2017, the OQEMA Group reported revenues of EUR 754M.

Source(s): Chemagility Sources

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