Kathy Scott, Columbus site manager, speaks to employees about the new owner of its chemical plant, previously known as AkzoNobel Thursday morning. The Carlyle Group purchased the specialty chemical companies now known as Nouryon. Photo by: Mary Pollitz/Dispatch Staff
October 18, 2018 10:23:44 AM
AkzoNobel Specialty Chemical now has a new owner and name for its global chemical companies.
The Carlyle Group purchased all 92 AkzoNobel specialty chemical division companies, which includes the Columbus plant at 4374 Nashville Ferry E. Road.
Columbus Site Manager Kathy Scott said the deal with The Carlyle Group was finalized Oct. 1, and she announced the change to local employees this morning.
Carlyle, a private equity firm based in Washington, D.C., chose the name Nouryon for the specialty chemical companies earlier this month, Scott added.
The new company has nearly 10,000 employees in more than 80 countries.
"Launching our new company is a significant milestone to add to our proud history, and we are all looking forward to this exciting new chapter," said new CEO Charles W. Shaver, according to a Nouryon press release.
The Columbus chemical company started 63 years ago as Hooker Chemical. Over the years, it also has been known as Eka Nobel and AkzoNobel before the most recent name change.
As AkzoNobel, the Columbus site produced specialty chemicals, paints and coatings. Under the Nouryon banner, it will shift its focus to producing just specialty chemicals. The plant largely produces heavy duty hydrogen peroxide and sodium chlorate, Scott said, which are used to bleach pulp at paper mills.
Scott said the plant won't see many other operational changes, such as expansion or job growth. However, The Carlyle Group is looking to increase production in Columbus, she added.
The Carlyle Group manages assets in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America. It has acquired nearly 2,000 businesses worldwide including Coalfire Systems Inc., ECi Software Solutions and AFGlobal.
Scott said although the plant in Columbus has a new owner and name, it is simply revamping and rebranding. Other than honing its focus on vastly producing chemicals, business should remain the same for its 101 employees.
"We're looking forward to the new ownership and the positive things to come out of it," Scott said. "We are positioning ourselves for growth. The main thing that will change will be the name on (employees') uniforms. It is an exciting time now, because it's all going to be focused on us producing chemicals."
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