Azelis to become a leading specialty chemical distributor in Middle East and Africa through the acquisition of Orkila

Published: 2 October 2019 - 5 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Azelis, a leading distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Orkila, the top specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, the Orkila group runs offices in 13 countries and is active in more than 30 countries in the region. The company represents a large number of renowned world-class specialty chemicals and food ingredients manufacturers who have a strong strategic fit with Azelis’ principal base.

Orkila serves several thousand customers across Africa and the Middle East, ranging from major multinationals to smaller local producers, all seeking specialty products that bring added value to their brand, and a reliable partner to achieve success in the vibrant and growing marketplace.

Africa has been experiencing economic acceleration, growing middle class and improved business environment, thus providing Azelis and its principals with the opportunity to accelerate their growth in the region.

The specialty chemicals distribution market in Africa and the Middle East is one of the fastest growing in the world while the blue chip raw material producers are looking for a sizeable distributor in the region.

The acquisition creates a unique combination of Azelis’ innovation and formulation potential, its EcoVadis Gold status and international reach on one side and the strong local presence, regional expertise and excellent reputation of Orkila on the other.

Transaction is expected to complete in the next four months.

Through this transaction, Azelis intends to acquire 100% of Orkila, with over 220 employees joining the Azelis team. Orkila was created in 2005 and grew to become the leading specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor in the region, with sales into multiple market segments, including pharmaceuticals, food, agrochemicals, animal nutrition, personal care, paints and construction, oilfield, plastic additives, home care and water treatment. To ensure business continuity, Audrey Sacy Aris and Christophe Sacy, as well as other senior managers, will continue to run the operations going forward.

Like Azelis, the company is very focused on promoting specialty service offerings and has an application lab in Egypt that serves both food and personal care customers. Orkila also offers accredited laboratory testing coupled with the ability to develop and introduce innovative products, create and enhance formulations and assist the clients’ pursuit of growth and improved performance.

Dr Hans Joachim Müller, Azelis chief executive officer and president, commented: “We are very excited that Orkila will become a part of Azelis. They are a well-established company, known in Africa and the Middle East for their high-quality expertise and service. We have been impressed by Orkila’s committed management, the similarity of our business models and excellent cultural fit. We know that many of our principals are currently looking into strengthening their activities in Africa. Combining the strength of a leading regional specialty distributor with the strength of Azelis will result in an excellent and unique platform for organic growth.”

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