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Wind Point Simultaneously Exits And Reinvests In Ascensus Through Blackstone Strategic Partners-Led SPV

Creative structure generates attractive outcome for existing investors, while providing strategic capital to support Ascensus’ growth

Chicago, IL, July 7, 2021 – Wind Point Partners (“Wind Point”) today announced the closing of a new joint control partnership with New Mountain Capital (“New Mountain”) to acquire Ascensus Specialties (“Ascensus” or the “Company”), a leading U.S.-based provider of specialty materials for use in critical life sciences and specialties markets and applications. Ascensus was acquired from a prior Wind Point fund which owned the Company since 2018, with Wind Point raising a special purpose vehicle, anchored by Blackstone Strategic Partners, to re-invest in Ascensus alongside New Mountain Capital. The transaction reaffirms Wind Point’s long-term commitment to Ascensus and adds New Mountain’s demonstrated experience in the Company’s core end markets.

Ascensus is the world leader in borohydride, borane and specialty alcoholates chemicals. Wind Point built the Company through the acquisitions of former Dow Chemical and BASF specialty chemicals businesses. In April 2021, Ascensus acquired Strem Chemicals, a leader in high-purity, research-grade chemicals, APIs and cGMP materials. Ascensus has achieved double-digit organic growth and maintains an outstanding track record of reliability for customers in life sciences, microelectronics, and other specialty markets across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Alex Washington, Managing Director at Wind Point, commented, “Ascensus has demonstrated tremendous technical and operational consistency in demanding, high-purity applications. Under the leadership of CEO Mike Huff, the Company is strategically positioned as a key solutions provider to researchers and manufacturers in areas like pharmaceuticals, when the need for safe, scalable, and high-performance specialty chemicals is critical. We are thrilled to partner with New Mountain to accelerate the next stage of Ascensus’ growth.” 

Mike Huff, CEO of Ascensus, stated, “I want to thank my team and our board of directors for their hard work and support. This is an exciting time for the Ascensus family. Wind Point continues to be a great partner, and New Mountain brings proven success in life sciences. With this new partnership, Ascensus will have tremendous access to capital and resources to further invest behind R&D and product innovation in a transformative way.”

A core market for Ascensus is the use of its specialty materials in the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients, including antiretrovirals for HIV, treatment of cardiovascular and oncology diseases, and vaccines. In broader applications, Ascensus’ products are often used to remove impurities (e.g. color, odor, and other unwanted substances) in customer production processes.

Andre Moura, Managing Director at New Mountain, added, “We have been impressed by the Ascensus management team and the transformation that they have executed as a standalone specialty chemicals leader. We see many organic and inorganic growth opportunities for the platform, including both investments in core organic growth initiatives and strategic M&A to expand the portfolio. There is strong alignment between Wind Point and New Mountain on the strategic vision for the Company, and we are excited to have their new active investment alongside NMC.”

Reed Smith LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Ascensus and Wind Point. Proskauer Rose LLP advised Blackstone Strategic Partners. KeyBanc Capital Markets served as financial advisor to Ascensus. Debt financing was arranged by Antares Capital and KeyBanc Capital Markets. Evercore Private Capital Advisory advised Wind Point on the arrangement of the special purpose vehicle. 

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