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Niskayuna's SI Group to be purchased

Niskayuna's SI Group to be purchased

Company to be merged with other chemical firm owned by investment group
Niskayuna's SI Group to be purchased
The SI Group's headquarters on Balltown Road in Niskayuna are seen in this 2015 photo.
Photographer: Peter Barber/Daily Gazette photographer

NISKAYUNA -- SI Group is set to be sold to a private investment firm under a deal announced Friday.

The Niskayuna-based specialty chemical firm, previously known as Schenectady International and founded in Schenectady in 1906, has more than 2,800 employees working in 20 manufacturing facilities worldwide. The firm sees more than $1 billion in annual sales.

The company employs about 430 people in Schenectady County, between its Niskayuna corporate headquarters and a production facility in Rotterdam Junction. Company spokeswoman Tara Morgan said she couldn't answer questions about any local job impacts on Friday.

SK Capital Partners, based in New York City, is a private investment firm "focused on the specialty materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors," according to a prepared statement announcing the purchase agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the terms released Friday, SK Capital will combine SI Group and Addivant, another specialty chemical manufacturer, once the sale is complete. Addivant, a global supplier of antioxidants, intermediates and inhibitors, polymer modifiers, and UV stabilizer solutions, is based in Danbury, Connecticut.

SK has owned Addivant since 2013. The companies said the purchase of SI Group is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Bloomberg News reported in February that SI Group had received buyout offers, and its owners were exploring a sale.

“SK Capital is a firm known for its sound business practices, deep industry experience and impressive portfolio of companies in the chemicals sector,” said SI Group Chairman Wallace A. Graham, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled by the prospect of SI Group joining SK Capital, as it will enhance the company’s performance additives and intermediates business in the plastic, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, and rubber sectors. We expect to see great things in the years ahead.”

SI Group started as Schenectady Varnish Co. in 1906, when W. Howard Wright, a General Electric chemist, decided to start his own business. The company has remained family-owned through several generations, with Graham having married into Wright's family.

Other terms of the buyout, including the price, were not disclosed on Friday.

SI Group has expanded in the past. In 2014, company President Frank Bozich said the company was interested in growth opportunities, and in 2016 it acquired chemical plants in Texas.

Bozich was traveling on Friday and unavailable for comment.

"We are excited that SI Group will be joining the SK Capital portfolio of chemicals and pharmaceuticals businesses," said SK Capital co-founder and Managing Director Barry Siadat, in a prepared statement. “SI Group has an excellent fit with the technologies and end markets of several SK Capital businesses, including Addivant in additives, Noramco in the area of pain management pharmaceuticals, and TPC Group in building block chemicals for certain SI Group products."

"These technology and market connections will enhance and accelerate the continued growth and transformation of SI Group. Additionally, by combining the complementary strengths of SI Group and Addivant, we will be creating a global technology and industry leader in plastic, lubricant, oilfield, and rubber additives," Siadat continued.

In Rotterdam Junction, the company manufactures adhesives for products like vinyl flooring and sneaker soles, engineering plastics found in mechanical parts, medical devices and electronics, and industrial resins found in items like kitchen sponges, sandpaper and brake pads, according to a company fact sheet.

Rotterdam Town Supervisor Steven A. Tommasone learned of the pending sale late Friday afternoon. He said he was hopeful the operation would continue to thrive in the region, given that SI Group has in recent years invested millions of dollars in the Rotterdam Junction plant, including putting money into production, water, sewer and safety improvements.

"My hope would be that all the jobs remain, and SI Group or whatever it becomes maintains jobs and maybe adds jobs," Tommasone said. "Obviously, we have small businesses in Rotterdam Junction that depend on SI employees day to day."

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled the last name of SI Group President Frank Bozich.

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