MidOcean Buys Agilex from Nautic

MidOcean Partners has acquired a majority stake in Agilex Flavors & Fragrances. Financial terms weren’t announced. The seller was Nautic Partners. Piscataway, N.J.-based Agilex provides fragrance compounds and delivery systems sold primarily to manufacturers of air care, personal care, industrial and institutional and household products. Fidus Partners provided financial advice to Agilex.


MidOcean Partners (“MidOcean”), a leading private equity firm, announced that it acquired a majority equity position in Agilex Flavors & Fragrances (“Agilex” or the “Company”), the leading middle market creator and manufacturer of fragrances for use in consumer products. Agilex was previously owned by Nautic Partners, a leading middle market private firm based in Providence, RI.

Headquartered in Piscataway, NJ, Agilex was created by combining several unique fragrance houses with diverse strengths and capabilities. Agilex is a provider of fragrance compounds and delivery systems sold primarily to manufacturers of air care, personal care, industrial and institutional and household products. The Company’s facilities include production facilities in Georgia, New Jersey, and China along with a Creative Center for Excellence in Piscataway, New Jersey and fragrance laboratory located in Hong Kong, which together drive best-in-class capabilities for serving a variety of customers in the middle market.

The current management team is investing alongside MidOcean. The new Board of Directors will include Daniel Stebbins, the former President of the Flavor Division worldwide for Dragoco and Haarmann & Reimer Corp., where he oversaw its integration into Symrise GmbH & Co., a global leader in the industry. Mr. Stebbins served on the Board of Governors for the Fragrance Foundation from 1990 to 2002, and has worked with MidOcean to evaluate opportunities in this sector over the past several years. Also joining the board is Thomas Virtue, former president of Givaudan Roure, the world’s largest flavors and fragrance provider. Brian Connolly, the former Executive Vice President and President of North America for Avon Products Inc., will also serve on the board. Mr. Connolly formerly served as Chairman of the Direct Selling Association and has longtime experience in that sector.

“Over the course of the past several years, MidOcean has been evaluating opportunities in the value-added fragrance and flavors space, and we found Agilex’s leading position in a fragmented middle market, its role in providing critical fragrance inputs for customers, and its excellent management team very compelling,” said Rob Sharp, a MidOcean Managing Director. “We are very impressed with the entire Agilex management team, all of whom are investing alongside MidOcean as part of this transaction. We look forward to partnering with this team to grow the business organically and through significant acquisitions.”

“I am extremely excited about our new relationship with MidOcean Partners and the financial expertise and resources they provide. To serve on the board of directors with these industry icons is both an honor and a privilege. Their deep knowledge at the highest levels of the industry will provide the additional vision and support that we were seeking as we continue to grow our business,” Agilex’s CEO, Stu Zlotnik, commented.  “We will continue to build on our record of creating winning fragrances, new technological innovations and marketing capabilities focused directly on our clients’ specific needs.”

“We are fortunate to have partnered with the outstanding management team at Agilex,” said Bernie Buonanno, Managing Director of Nautic. “Outgoing Agilex Holdings CEO Tom Lamb, Agilex Fragrances CEO Stu Zlotnik and the rest of the management team did a terrific job driving growth at the Company and positioning it for continued success in the attractive air care and personal care product markets during Nautic’s ownership.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel for MidOcean Partners. Fidus Partners served as financial advisor to Agilex, while Edwards Wildman Palmer acted as legal counsel for the Company.

About Agilex Flavors & Fragrances
Headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey, Agilex is the leading provider of fragrance compounds and delivery systems in the middle market. The Company possesses leading creative and technical capabilities for the customers it serves, which are primarily manufacturers of air care, personal care, industrial and institutional and household products throughout the United States. Additional information about Agilex is available at www.agilexfandf.com.

About MidOcean Partners
MidOcean Partners is a premier private equity firm headquartered in New York focused on the middle market. MidOcean is committed to investing in high quality companies with stable market positions and multiple opportunities for growth. Targeted sectors include consumer, media and communications, business and financial services and industrial services. MidOcean utilizes a broad foundation of expertise in its focus industries to create value for its investors and partners. For more information, visit www.midoceanpartners.com.

About Nautic Partners
Founded in 1986, Nautic Partners is a middle-market private equity firm with over $2.5 billion of equity capital under management. The firm has completed over 110 transactions in partnership with management and delivered successful results to investors over three decades. Nautic targets equity investments of $25-$75 million, representing majority ownership in niche businesses with strong market share and growth potential, identified value enhancement opportunities and strong management teams. Areas of focus include business services, manufacturing, and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.nautic.com.