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Brenntag in Talks to Acquire Univar

Reuters reported that “Brenntag SE said on Friday it held preliminary discussions with U.S. rival Univar Solutions Inc regarding a potential acquisition, as the German chemicals distributor seeks to expand its footprint in the United States.” Assuming a deal is done it would make Brenntag the world’s largest chemical distributor. Brenntag is worth $11 billion and Univar is valued at over $5 billion.

Word of the potential acquisition follows on the heels Brenntag’s recent announcement that it is opening a new production and warehouse facility in Upton, Massachusetts.

In addition to Brenntag being the world market leader in full-line chemical and ingredient distribution, Brenntag Lubricants is the market leader in the distribution of finished lubricants and ancillary products to the automotive, commercial, and industrial business segments. 

Brenntag’s interest in the US lubricant market first showed up on the radar in 2012, This is when it acquired the assets of Lubrication Services, LLC (LSi), who at that time was one of North America’s leading multi-regional distributors of lubricants and chemicals. And if that didn’t get one’s attention, Brenntag’s presence in the US market and interest in expanding its lubricants business became quite evident when it acquired J.A.M. Distributing Company in Houston, G.H. Berlin-Windward in NH, the lubricants business of NOCO in NY, and Mayes County Petroleum Products in Oklahoma in 2015/16. These acquisitions were followed by the Lubricants Division of Reeder Distributors, Inc and the bolt on acquisition of B&M Oil Company in 2019.

When combined, these acquisitions contributed close to $1 billion in sales and moved Brenntag into the position as the largest lubricant distributor in the US, and provided Brenntag with a strong platform for growth in the consolidating US lubricants business.

These acquisitions are also believed to have made Brenntag the largest distributor of ExxonMobil lubricants in the world. In addition, Brenntag is the exclusive distributor of Infineum USA L.P. petroleum additives for the fuel and lubricants industries in United States and Canada. 

Brenntag has more than 17,000 employees worldwide and operates a network of more than 700 sites in 78 countries.


Brenntag’s U.S. swoop is both logical and risky

Brenntag Eyes Takeover of Rival Univar

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