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1:42 PM MDT | July 25, 2007 | Ian Young

Private equity investment has been a major feature of the European chemical distribution sector since 2001, when three of the region’s top 10 players—Albion Chemicals (Leeds, U.K.), Azelis (Milan), and IMCD Group (Rotterdam)—were formed following separate buyouts backed by private equity capital firms. Quaron (Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands) and Safic-Alcan (Paris) fell into private equity hands in 2003, and Brenntag (Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany)—Europe’s biggest chemical distributor—became private equity owned in 2004, as...

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