Riverside Buys DuBois Chemicals

The Riverside Company has acquired DuBois Chemicals Inc., a Racine, Wis.–based maker of specialty chemicals and solutions for manufacturing problems and lean initiatives, from JohnsonDiversey Inc. No pricing terms were disclosed. Key Bank and US Bank provided senior debt, while New Canaan provided mezzanine debt.




The Riverside Company found great chemistry with its latest acquisition,

DuBois Chemicals, Inc. a high-quality manufacturer of specialty chemicals and solutions for manufacturing problems and lean initiatives. DuBois is the 3rd investment from the firm’s newest fund, Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund V (“RCAF V”). This acquisition is the result of a corporate carve-out from DuBois’ previous owner, JohnsonDiversey, Inc. of Racine, Wisconsin and marks the 24th overall investment for the firm in 2008.


DuBois offers its more than 5,500 customers specialty chemical engineered solutions for surface finishing, pulp and paper, water and wastewater treatment; lubricants, vehicle cleaning, and maintenance cleaning products. Because of DuBois’ breadth of product offerings, the company can sell as many as 150 SKUs to one customer.


“Riverside was drawn to DuBois because of the company’s talented management team, strategic growth opportunities and diversification of customers and end markets,” said Tim Gosline, Riverside Partner. “DuBois has a broad line of products and demands strong margins, which translate into tremendous potential in new markets that are natural extensions of the business. In addition, this is a fragmented market that will provide abundant add-on opportunities for growth.”


“Our business serves a wide variety of customers,” said Jeff Welsh, DuBois President and CEO. “Each of our market segments has its own trends and areas of growth, though there are some commonalities, such as the importance of resource conservation, environmentally friendly products and the need for a technically advanced company that can reliably support customers. We were attracted to Riverside’s track record and believe the firm will help us continue to focus on new products and expanding reach with existing customers while pursuing growth in new markets.”


Working with Gosline for Riverside on this transaction were Chip Walker, Principal; Martha Anders, Vice President; Anand Shelat, Analyst; and Bill Seelbach, Operating Executive. The transaction was sourced by Robert Landis, Partner, who leads Riverside’s North American Origination Team. Senior debt financing was provided by Key Bank and US Bank, and New Canaan provided mezzanine financing.


The Riverside Company (www.riversidecompany.com or www.riversideeurope.com)

The Riverside Company is the largest global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the middle market (“SEMM”) and is one of the industry’s most experienced leveraged buyout investors. Riverside specializes in investing in premier SEMM companies (those valued up to $150 million) and partners with strong management teams to build companies through acquisitions and value-added growth. Since 1988, the firm has invested in 200 transactions with a total enterprise value of $4.4 billion. Its current portfolio in North America, Europe and Asia numbers 67, with combined annual sales of $3.2 billion, EBITDA of $517 million and more than 14,000 employees. Riverside offers the resources to complete acquisitions smoothly and in as little as 45 days – thanks to its sizeable pool of capital under management (more than $2 billion in nine funds), over 180 professionals in 18 offices (Atlanta, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Eindhoven, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Madrid, Munich, New York, Prague, San Francisco, Seoul, Stockholm, Tokyo and Warsaw), and long-standing relationships with partner lenders. Six of nine of the firm’s mature vintages are currently top quartile, and the firm’s investors include the world’s leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks.


DuBois Chemicals (www.duboischemicals.com)

Founded in 1920, DuBois Chemicals is a leading specialty chemical and applications provider to the manufacturing industry in North America. The company’s focus is to forge sustainable partnerships with customers that also reduce total cost through the delivery of innovative solutions that are lean, green and clean. DuBois specializes in the areas of metal finishing/paint pretreatment, water/wastewater treatment, maintenance/equipment cleaning, and transportation cleaning. DuBois headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Sharonville, Ohio.