Sector News

Woodlands chemical co. names chairman to replace Wilbur Ross

March 8, 2017
Chemical Value Chain

The Woodlands-based Nexeo Solutions Inc., which was acquired last year by Wilbur Ross Jr.’s blank check company, has appointed a new board chairman following the billionaire investor’s appointment as commerce secretary for the Trump administration.

Nexeo Solutions, a chemical and plastics distributor, named Dan Smith chairman of the board, according to a release. The board also appointed Robert Zatta to fill another vacancy.

Smith has sat on the Nexeo board since 2011, according to his LinkedIn page, and he previously was chairman before the acquisition closed. He also was the former chairman, president and CEO of Lyondell Chemical Co., which was bought by Basell AF in 2007 for $12.7 billion to form LyondellBasell Industries NV.

Zatta was the CFO of chemical company Rockwood Holdings Inc. from April 2001 to January 2015.

New York-based WL Ross Holding Corp., a special purpose acquisition company or “blank check company” run by Ross, completed its $1.58 billion acquisition of Nexeo Solutions LLC in June. The renamed Nexeo Solutions Inc. then began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

The deal, which was announced in March 2016, called for Nexeo to become a wholly owned subsidiary of WL Ross Holding, and private investment firm TPG Capital LP, the previous majority owner of Nexeo, would retain a 35 percent stake in the new company.

“I appreciate all the support Wilbur provided to Nexeo Solutions and me personally during the SPAC process to take the company public,” Nexeo President and CEO David Bradley said in the release. “I am excited to have Dan as our chairman, given his history and industry knowledge. He continues to be an adviser to me and my leadership team as we pursue our vision, defining distribution.”

Ross was confirmed as commerce secretary Feb. 27, according to the New York Times. He’s expected to pursue a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

By Jack Witthaus

Source: Houston Business Journal

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