Aceto, a seller of chemicals in Port Washington, has purchased...

Aceto, a seller of chemicals in Port Washington, has purchased Syntor Fine Chemicals in Runcorn, England. Credit: Barry Sloan

Aceto, a seller of chemicals in Port Washington, has purchased a similar British company for an undisclosed amount, executives said.

The acquisition of Syntor Fine Chemicals in Runcorn, England, comes one year after Aceto was sold in a bankruptcy court auction to the Manhattan private equity firm New Mountain Capital for $411 million.

The new Aceto is privately held and focused solely on selling 1,100 chemical compounds used by farmers and factories.

The new company's predecessor, also based in Port Washington and founded in 1947, was publicly traded and filed for bankruptcy in February 2019 after amassing debt to purchase a New Jersey drug manufacturer about 10 years earlier. The drugmaker also was sold in the bankruptcy auction to Shore Suven Pharma Inc. in India for $15 million.

New Mountain managing director Andre Moura said last week it wants to strengthen Aceto by buying other suppliers of chemicals and pharmaceutical ingredients. He said there are “significant cross-sell opportunities” between Aceto and Syntor.

Both companies sell chemicals that are made in China, India and elsewhere by third parties. Aceto’s customers produce fertilizers, medicine and industrial products while Syntor’s produce medicine, fertilizers and electronics.

Aceto's sales of chemicals totaled about $337 million in 2018, according to a securities filing for the old company.

The new company's CEO, Gilles Cottier, said last week, “Syntor’s synthesis and formulation capabilities enhance Aceto’s existing services and expand our value-added offerings in the life sciences.”

Cottier was hired by New Mountain to run Aceto in June. He spent nearly 30 years at Sigma-Aldrich Co. in St. Louis, a chemical and biotechnology company. Former Sigma-Aldrich CEO Rakesh Sachdev was appointed chairman of Aceto, also in June.

Under the terms of the deal, the Syntor name will continue to be used and “it is intended that all employees will be retained in their current roles,” the companies said in a statement on Friday. Syntor was founded in 2004.

Employment figures for Aceto and Syntor weren’t available last week. The old Aceto had 315 employees as of June 2018, according to a securities filing.

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