Joe D’Ambrisi Discusses MacDermid Alpha's Acquisition of HK Wentworth

Element Solutions’ Executive Vice President Joe D’Ambrisi speaks with Nolan Johnson about MacDermid Alpha's recent acquisition of HK Wentworth. Joe shares some details on the transaction and outlines the expected benefits that come from bringing these two companies together.

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Nolan Johnson: Hi. Nolan Johnson here for I-Connect007. Today, I am speaking with Joe D'Ambrisi. He's the executive vice president and head of electronics at Element Solutions. Joe, welcome.

Joe D’Ambrisi: Thank you. Good to be here.

Johnson: There has been some merger and acquisition news involving you. Could you care to tell us about it?

D’Ambrisi: Certainly, it would be my pleasure. First of all, probably a little background about Elements Solutions. I'm sure most people think of us as a specialty chemicals and materials provider to the electronics industry. But what we fundamentally are is a solutions provider. We provide solutions to the technology challenges that our customers face and not just specifically to our customers, but to the industries at large that we serve. And we just recently made an acquisition of a UK company named HK Wentworth. It has two very, very strong brands in Electrolube and AF International. And what attracted us to HK Wentworth is that they have a very similar philosophy to Element Solutions in that they consider themselves a solution provider as well. They are constantly searching for opportunities where their customers have a specific technological or economic or quality or productivity challenge. And they innovate solutions specific to those customer challenges to improve their customer's outcomes. To make them more profitable, to make them more productive, to move them to a higher level of technological capability than they had the day before. And that's very similar to the philosophy of Element Solutions.

Johnson: How do you see this merger of these entities working together? I mean, obviously when you want to do a merger or acquisition, you're looking for a new whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Where do you see that happening?

D’Ambrisi: Yeah, I think that's exactly right. And we believe that this combination of companies has a tremendous amount of potential in that regard. Our electronics business at Elements Solutions is called MacDermid Alpha Electronic Solutions. And it's been assembled by combining a number of legacy organizations each with complementary strengths, either from a product perspective or a geographic perspective. And HK Wentworth is just another one of those companies that provides elements solutions and MacDermid Alpha Electronic Solutions, an opportunity to further expand its portfolio offering. And to its customers largely in the assembly solution space and in the semiconductor solution space. And those are two very important markets that MacDermid Alpha Electronic Solutions serves today.

When we think of the strength of the HK Wentworth brand and some of the products that are in their portfolio, things like conformal coatings, encapsulating resins, thermal interface, materials, all of those products are very complimentary to the Element Solutions portfolio and what we provide to our customers today. So it's a broadening and a strengthening of our portfolio that we think is very attractive. I think one of the things that MacDermid Alpha brings to HK Wentworth and they're very technically capable portfolio of products is access to a global commercial organization at MacDermid Alpha that consists of sales and technical service professionals, applications experts that are located all throughout the world that help our customers solve their most difficult manufacturing challenges.

Johnson: Well, that leads into my next question. Looking out a year or so, what can customers expect to see? What can customers expect to benefit from?

D’Ambrisi: So I believe that as we begin this acquisition, it's really only days old. One of the messages that we've communicated to both our new colleagues at HK Wentworth and to the customer base from HK Wentworth is that we have done this before. We've taken a lot of complimentary companies with complementary strengths and combine them together. And our approach is always very cautious. HK Wentworth is a tremendous organization; it's been very successful. It has not just a portfolio of products, but we believe great people that support the organization. And we want to make sure that we continue to take advantage of their strengths by taking a cautious approach to how we integrate the organization into MacDermid Alpha. I think that from a customer perspective that provides some comfort that they know they're going to continue to get the same products that they've gotten the day before from the same manufacturing plants made by the same employees in the organization that they have up to this point.

And most of the capabilities of HK Wentworth, we believe will be additive to that of Element Solutions. And what we can provide HK Wentworth is we believe a much more efficient organization in some of the shared services that we have. Everything from human resources to the accounting and finance functions in tax and treasury and things like that. That is part of a MacDermid Alpha global company as a 1.3 billion US dollar supplier to the electronic solutions industries. We have the scale and the scope of a large multinational organization that we can provide the HK Wentworth company to its employees. And we believe that provides a significant benefit to the customers of HK Wentworth.

Johnson: Well, this certainly does sound like exciting news.

D’Ambrisi: It certainly is. We're thrilled about it. We're not just excited about the portfolio of products and the capabilities that they will provide, but we believe just a solid group of people. And that really is the most important aspect of our business. Our executive chairman is very fond of saying that are our most valuable assets, walk out the front door every evening. And it could not be more true. And when we believe the people at HK Wentworth will just add to that capability.

Johnson: Joe, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today.

D’Ambrisi: My pleasure, Nolan. Thank you.

Johnson: Again, I've been speaking with Joe D'Ambrisi. He's the executive vice president and head of electronics at Element Solutions. Thanks for listening.



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