Orkila acquisition poises Azelis for growth in Africa and the Middle East

Azelis, a leading distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients, has signed an agreement to acquire Orkila, the top specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, the Orkila group runs offices in 13 countries and is active in more than 30 countries in the region. It represents a large number of renowned world-class specialty chemicals and food ingredients manufacturers who have a strong strategic fit with Azelis’ principal base. Orkila serves several thousand customers across Africa and the Middle East, ranging from major multinationals to smaller local producers, all seeking specialty products that bring added value to their brand, and a reliable partner to achieve success in this vibrant and growing marketplace.

Growth in Africa

• Africa has been experiencing economic acceleration, growing middle class and improved business environment, thus providing Azelis and its principals with the opportunity to accelerate their growth in the region.

• The specialty chemicals distribution market in Africa and the Middle East is one of the fastest growing in the world while the blue chip raw material producers are looking for a sizeable distributor in the region.

• The acquisition creates a unique combination of Azelis’ innovation & formulation potential, its EcoVadis Gold status and international reach on one side and the strong local presence, regional expertise and excellent reputation of Orkila on the other.

• Transaction is expected to complete in the next four months.

Through this transaction Azelis intends to acquire 100 percent of Orkila, with over 220 employees joining the Azelis team. Orkila was created in 2005 and grew to become the leading specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor in the region, with sales into multiple market segments, including pharmaceuticals, food, agrochemicals, animal nutrition, personal care, paints & construction, oilfield, plastic additives, home care and water treatment. To ensure business continuity, Audrey Sacy Aris and Christophe Sacy, as well as other senior managers, will continue to run the operations going forward.

Orkila joins Azelis Group
Orkila has been acquired by Azelis

The company is very focused on promoting specialty service offerings and has an application lab in Egypt that serves both food and personal care customers. Orkila also offers accredited laboratory testing coupled with the ability to develop and introduce innovative products, create and enhance formulations and assist the clients’ pursuit of growth and improved performance.

Excellent platform for organic growth

Dr Hans Joachim Müller, Azelis chief executive officer and president, comments: ‘We are very excited that Orkila will become a part of Azelis. They are a well-established company, known in Africa and the Middle East for their high quality expertise and service. We have been impressed by Orkila’s committed management, the similarity of our business models and excellent cultural fit. We know that many of our principals are currently looking into strengthening their activities in Africa. Combining the strength of a leading regional specialty distributor with the strength of Azelis will result in an excellent and unique platform for organic growth.’

Antoine Sacy, founder, chairman and CEO of Orkila, adds: ‘After almost 15 years of growing on a stand-alone basis, it is time for us to move into global waters. Joining a well- established global player such as Azelis will enable us not only to continue to deliver high quality products and services that our customers are accustomed to, but also to access new growth opportunities. It will enable us to continue to thrive under their ownership, securing unparalleled service to our customers, superior growth for our principals and a highly rewarding work environment for our employees. The exciting fact is that now we will be able to tap into Azelis’ strong international presence, exchange of knowledge on the global level and leverage our combined operational excellence.’

The acquisition of Orkila illustrates the support provided by EQT since the initial acquisition of Azelis. EQT is confident the expanded range of services and global reach provided by this acquisition will continue to bring benefits to customers and principals of the combined group.