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Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Exits Investment in Water Treatment Leader Solenis

Sale Follows Company’s Continued Growth and Success Driving Sustainability and Operational Efficiency in Water-Intensive Industries

Solenis Logo
Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) today announced an agreement under which its portfolio company, Solenis, will be acquired by Platinum Equity. The transaction, expected to close before the end of 2021, implies an enterprise value for Solenis of $5.25 billion. CD&R and Solenis management currently collectively own 51% of Solenis, and chemical company BASF holds the remaining 49%. Both CD&R and BASF will fully exit Solenis as part of the transaction announced today.

Founded in 1907 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Solenis is a global leader in supplying innovative specialty chemicals and services for process, functional and water treatment applications to consumer and industrial markets. The company’s global footprint spans across 120 countries and five continents, and comprises over 5,200 employees and 41 manufacturing facilities. The company’s two primary business segments, Consumer and Industrial, deliver solutions that help customers drive sustainability and operational efficiency while reducing costs, and together represent significant growth potential for the business.

CD&R funds acquired a majority stake in Solenis from Ashland, Inc. in a July 2014 transaction that ascribed an enterprise valuation of $1.8 billion to Solenis. In 2019, Solenis merged with BASF’s Paper & Water Chemicals business, creating a leading solutions provider for the pulp & paper and water treatment industries.

Under CD&R’s ownership, Solenis enhanced its service-intensive business model, which relies on its more than 1,400 highly trained sales technicians operating on site at customers’ facilities. This operational focus allowed Solenis to expand its presence in the market, increase its customer base and enhance its approach to delivering sustainable value. It also enabled Solenis to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst retaining a strong financial profile and creating opportunities for continued growth in the future.

“We’re proud to have supported Solenis’ growth strategy and have enjoyed working alongside the company’s talented team since our initial investment in 2014,” said CD&R Partner Stephen Shapiro. “In that time, Solenis has significantly expanded its global presence, strengthened its customer offerings, and emerged as a sustainability leader. We’re pleased to have found a strong new investment partner for Solenis and look forward to following the company’s continued success.”

“This transaction is a strong validation of the growth and success we have achieved over the last seven years under CD&R ownership,” said Solenis Chief Executive Officer John Panichella. “We thank the CD&R team for its support, which has positioned us well for this exciting next phase of growth with our new investment partners at Platinum.”

BofA Securities and Citi served as co-financial advisors for Solenis, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provided legal counsel to Solenis. BofA Securities and Citi acted as co-financial advisors, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provided legal counsel to CD&R. Piper Sandler Valence acted as financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP provided legal counsel to Platinum.

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) is a private investment firm with a strategy predicated on building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of more than $35 billion in 100 companies with an aggregate transaction value of more than $150 billion. The Firm has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit

About Solenis
Solenis is a leading global producer of specialty chemicals focused on delivering sustainable solutions for water-intensive industries, including the pulp, packaging paper and board, tissue and towel, oil and gas, petroleum refining, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power and municipal markets. The company’s product portfolio includes a broad array of water treatment chemistries, process aids, functional additives as well as state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems. These technologies are used by customers to improve operational efficiencies, enhance product quality, protect plant assets and minimize environmental impact. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, the company has 41 manufacturing facilities strategically located around the globe and employs a team of more than 5,200 professionals in 120 countries across five continents. Solenis is a 2021 US Best Managed Company. Learn more here and at