Chemicals firm the right mix for buyer

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A Doncaster chemicals company which employs 35 people has been snapped up by Spanish-owned hazardous waste management firm.

Solvents with Safety, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of solvents to the automotive refinishing market, has been purchased for an undisclosed sum by Tradebe, a market leader in the UK, US and Spain, with subsidiaries in France and Brazil.

SWS, of Plumtree Farm Industrial Estate, Harworth, was founded in 1983 by Keith Wilson.

The firm supplies a range of solvents, offers blending services and collects waste throughout the UK and Ireland. Its website states it has a waste area with seven bulk tanks of up to 60,000ltr for solvent storage.

In 2012 it was fined £20,000 by the Health and Safety Executive after an unsafe decanting operation caused a huge fire in 2010 that engulfed its Harworth base. No one was hurt.

Keith Wilson, chairman of SWS, said the firm was built on value-added products, customer service and a committed management team led by managing director, Brendan Pope.

He added: “I believe we have found the perfect home for the business to continue its progress as part of the Tradebe group.”

Tradebe runs 72 treatment and recycling facilities around the world. In 2013 total revenues were £315m and it employed more than 2,000 people.

David Forrest, supported by John Longstaff and David Bellamy, from BHP Corporate Finance acted as lead advisor to the vendors.

He said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with SWS’ shareholders to find the right strategic partner for the business. As we expected for a high quality business like Solvents, we had a significant amount of interest. Tradebe emerged as the outstanding strategic partner. The two business fit together perfectly.”