US firm swoops for aerospace chemicals distributor

A specialist distributor of silicones and lubricants to the aerospace sector based in Birmingham has been acquired by a US company.

The Coleshill-based company, which has turnover of £20m, has been bought by Texas-based GracoRoberts, creating the largest aerospace-focused and specification-driven specialty chemicals distributor around the globe.

Jason Caldwell, president and CEO of GracoRoberts, said: “We are thrilled to have Andy Nickson and the Silmid team join us in becoming a global and digital leader in aerospace specialty chemicals distribution. Together we bring more solutions, expertise and innovation to the global aerospace community than either of us can do alone. Offering this next-level value to our customers and suppliers and innovating a traditional brick and mortar specialty chemicals distribution model is truly game changing, and we are excited about what we will achieve together.”

Andy Nickson, operations director of Silmid, said: “The Silmid vision is founded on a philosophy of Silmid First – being the go-to destination and leading source for products and information. Once we’ve earned the customer’s trust with a purchase, it is our responsibility to deliver on time and without error. That belief system and operational excellence is fully aligned with GracoRoberts, which is what makes this partnership such a natural fit, and we are honoured to join the GracoRoberts team.”

With approximately 200 combined employees, GracoRoberts and Silmid will continue to operate independently from each company’s corporate headquarters.

Cattaneo Corporate Finance advised the shareholders of Silmid.

Martyn Pilley and Scott Peters provided corporate finance advice to the shareholders of Silmid who received legal advice from Matt Worsnop of Leicester-based BHW Solicitors and the New York office of Day Pitney.

They also received tax and accounting advice from West Midlands firms Parisi Tax and Eden Currie respectively.

GracoRoberts received legal advice on the transaction from the Birmingham office (Geoff Perry and Shauna Halls) and Washington DC office of Squire Patton Boggs and financial and tax due diligence support from the Birmingham office of Grant Thornton.

Martyn Pilley said: “We have worked with Silmid for a number of years, over which time we have built up a detailed understanding of the business. Its ecommerce model has fuelled customer acquisition and impressive transactional growth such that the global pandemic has had limited impact on its operations. Our in-depth knowledge of the business allowed us to facilitate the transaction within six weeks of reaching heads of agreement, a phenomenal effort by both parties and the team of advisers led by a strong Midlands contingent.”