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Arsenal Capital Selling Genovique to Eastman Chemical

Arsenal Capital Partners has agreed to sell Genovique Specialties Corp., a Rosemont, Ill.-based provider of benzoate plasticizers, to Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE: EMN). No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

Arsenal Capital Partners, a leading New York-based private equity firm that invests in middle market specialty industrial, healthcare and financial services companies, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) to sell its portfolio company Genovique Specialties Corporation, a leading global provider of benzoate plasticizers.

Genovique Specialties, headquartered in Rosemont, IL, is a global producer of benzoic acid, sodium benzoate and specialty plasticizers that are performance based solutions for the Adhesives & Sealants, Coatings, and PVC markets. The company has benzoate esters manufacturing capabilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

Tim Zappala, Chairman of Genovique, and a Partner of Arsenal Capital who co-heads the firm’s specialty chemicals and materials practice, said: “We are very pleased with the progress Genovique has made over the last three years following the implementation of a focused growth strategy.  Importantly, the company has developed a strong R&D pipeline that will continue to deliver valuable new non-phthalate products going forward.  The sale to Eastman is a natural progression of the company’s continued growth path and their global marketing and distribution capabilities will further expand the business globally.”  

During Arsenal’s stewardship since 2005, the senior management team was strengthened with the addition of experienced industry executives who helped to fundamentally reposition the company. Emphasis was placed on transforming the business to a high growth company, addressing through innovation market needs in adhesives, flooring and non-phthalate plasticizers in a variety of other markets, as well as supporting growing trends towards environmental and health-friendly products. Its manufacturing base was highly optimized and a joint venture was established in China to capitalize on expanding opportunities in Asia.  As a result of these and other initiatives, the company attained improved profitability. Genovique today has annual revenues of $135 million with manufacturing sites in North America, Europe and Asia.

Ross McMillan, CEO of Genovique, said, “We are very pleased with the support of Arsenal Capital who helped the Executive Team carry out the transformation of Genovique Specialties into a high growth, innovative, specialty chemicals company. Arsenal’s understanding of the chemical industry and their commitment to and support of my management team were instrumental in delivering the exceptional results the company has achieved over the last five years. We believe Eastman is an excellent choice to steward Genovique into the next phase of global development and growth.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.  

Arsenal’s current investments in the specialty chemicals sector include Novolyte Technologies, a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty electrolyte materials and high performance solvents for lithium ion battery and energy storage applications and a variety of other technically demanding specialty and custom manufactured products. In 2007, Arsenal sold Vertellus Specialties, a leading provider of specialty chemicals for the agriculture, nutrition, pharmaceutical, personal care, and performance materials markets, after successfully building the business and increasing annual sales to more than $450 million.

About Arsenal Capital Partners

Arsenal Capital Partners is a New York-based private equity firm that makes investments in specialty industrial, healthcare and financial services companies.  Arsenal makes investments in sectors where the firm has prior knowledge and experience, and targets businesses that have the potential for further value creation by working closely with management to accelerate growth and leverage the firm’s operational improvement capabilities.  Arsenal currently has $800 million of committed equity capital.  For additional information on Arsenal Capital Partners please visit www.arsenalcapital.com.