WSJ Pro Reports on Altas Acquisition of DuBois Chemicals


August 28, 2019 — Laura Cooper, Wall Street Journal

Private-Equity Firm Altas Partners Agrees to Acquire DuBois Chemicals

Deal comes as investor approaches close of second flagship fund

Long-term investor Altas Partners has agreed to acquire specialty chemical supplier DuBois Chemicals Inc. from owner Jordan Co., according to people familiar with the deal.

The deal with Altas would mark an exit for Jordan Co., which bought the company in 2017. Since then, it has grown through acquisitions, including the purchase of BHS Specialty Chemical Products, a manufacturer and distributor of chemicals, and at least four deals in recent years.

The terms of the deal couldn’t be learned.

DuBois, based in Sharonville, Ohio, provides industrial chemicals for water treatment, aerospace uses, auto wash and detailing, manufacturing and transportation. It serves more than 15,000 customers globally.

The investment comes as Altas nears the final close of its second long-term investment vehicle, which has a $3 billion hard cap, according to one of the people. Altas raised $1 billion for its previous fund, which it closed in 2016, saying at the time it could hold portfolio companies as long as 17 years.

The Toronto-based private-equity firm typically aims to hold companies longer than the standard period of roughly five years. Altas generally makes one or two new deals a year.

Earlier this year, it closed on a $400 million purchase of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, an educator of physical therapists and occupational therapists with campuses in California, Texas and Florida.

Altas also had a large exit earlier this year when it agreed to sell Capital Vision Services LP—which manages MyEyeDr. Optometry practices—to the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The deal was valued at $2.7 billion, including debt, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Altas had invested in the company alongside Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.