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Sale of SI Group completed; leadership team announced

Sale of SI Group completed; leadership team announced

Combined company to retain Capital Region headquarters, factory and workforce
Sale of SI Group completed; leadership team announced
The SI Group's headquarters on Balltown Road are seen in this photo taken in February 2017.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Daily Gazette Photographer

NISKAYUNA — Two weeks after completion of its acquisition by a private investment firm, SI Group on Friday announced its new executive team and provided an update on its near-term plans.

The 112-year-old chemical manufacturer will remain headquartered here under the same name, with the same local facilities and workforce, spokeswoman Tara Morgan said. 

The main change so far is ownership: On Oct. 15, SK Capital Partners of New York City completed its acquisition of SI Group from the Wright family, which founded the firm as Schenectady Varnish Co. in 1906. As part of the deal, SK Capital combined SI Group with Addivant, a chemical manufacturer that SK Capital acquired in 2013.

The combined company is called SI Group and is headquartered in Niskayuna; Addivant’s former headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut, is now a branch office.

Before the merger, SI Group had about 2,800 employees at 20 sites worldwide and recorded sales in excess of $1 billion a year. It now has more than 30 manufacturing sites on five continents and more than 3,000 employees; it expects about $2 billion in annual sales.

In the Capital Region, the last pre-merger headcount in mid-October was 206 employees at the Balltown Road headquarters in Niskayuna and 183 at the Route 5S factory in Rotterdam Junction.

No significant changes are planned at either site, Morgan said, explaining that SI Group and Addivant — aside from both being chemical manufacturers — were dissimilar companies. They made different products in different locations, and Addivant had about one-seventh as many employees. So there are not a lot of overlapping functions or personnel to eliminate: “It’s not like you’re combining two equal companies with redundancies,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Wright Family Foundation will no longer be associated with SI Group. The Schenectady County philanthropic organization was started in 1997 with a donation from the SI Group, and the two have been closely aligned ever since, though the foundation has not received funding from SI Group and the two were not formally connected. 

Now, Morgan said, SI Group will support organizations in the communities where it operates without the foundation’s guidance. The company expects to have a philanthropic strategy in place sometime in 2019.

The acquisition was announced in June but took more than four months to complete as regulatory approvals were secured. At least another year of work remains to blend SI Group and Addivant.

Full integration could take 12 to 24 months, Morgan said.

“It’s a significant undertaking," she said.

One big change for the facilities SI Group is bringing into the partnership will be moving to Addivant’s information technology operating system. That will be a significant upgrade, Morgan said, but one that will take time and effort.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

The pre-combination leaders of SI Group and Addivant are now co-CEOs of the combined company. Frank Bozich’s formal title is CEO, SI Group, and he oversees all shared corporate functions, such as supply chain, manufacturing, human resources, regulatory compliance and finance. John Steitz’s title is CEO, Additives; he oversees the product portfolio for strategic business units.

Bozich, a former BASF executive, had been at the helm of the SI Group since May 2013, as the eighth president in the firm's history and only the second to be hired from outside the company.

The rest of SI Group’s new leadership team are:

  • Chris Cornille, senior vice president, supply chain services 
  • Brooke Manrique, senior vice president, human resources & communications 
  • Tom Masterson, senior vice president, general counsel & regulatory affairs 
  • Wei Ru, senior vice president, engineering & process technology
  • Paul Tilley, senior vice president, chemical intermediates & industrial resins 
  • Patrick Weinberg, senior vice president & chief financial officer
  • Rich White, senior vice president, manufacturing & EHSQ
  • Katie Ellet, vice president, oilfield solutions 
  • Philip Ingham, vice president, industrial resins & specialties 
  • Robert Kaiser, vice president, rubber & adhesives 
  • Chris Roberts, vice president, fuels & lubricants
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