Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Valence Group Further Expands Its Industry Expertise and Analytical Capabilities by Hiring Three Chemicals Strategy Consultants

Anton Ticktin, Samuel Aofolaju and Jane Smith will be joining The Valence Group effective April 1, 2011.

Anton, Samuel and Jane are moving to Valence from Nexant, a leading chemicals consulting firm, where they have focussed for many years exclusively on M&A and strategy for the chemicals industries. Their skill set adds a new dimension that is highly complementary to Valence's existing M&A advisory practice, and collectively they bring over 35 years of experience in the chemicals and materials industry, much of which involving M&A-related assignments for both industrial and financial buyers and sellers.

Their due diligence and strategic consulting experience has included the in-depth analysis and evaluation of competitive, commercial, technical and strategic positioning; benchmarking and cost curve comparisons; strategic fit and related synergy assessment; sector and market appraisals on both global and regional bases; supply/demand forecasting; organic and external growth opportunities; post-acquisition integration; asset and human resource rationalisation; and analysis of competing buyers and their respective bidding potential. The Nexant team has conducted more than 100 M&A support and due diligence assignments in the last 10 years for a range of clients, including Albemarle, BASF, Bayer Material Sciences, Carlyle, China Bluestar, CVC Capital Partners, Dow Chemical, Permira, and PTT Thailand.

Whilst Valence's exclusive focus on M&A advice within the chemicals and materials sector will remain unchanged, the firm's advisory clients will benefit from an even broader and truly holistic approach to transactions.

Anton Ticktin has spent 13 years as a strategy consultant in the chemicals and materials industry both at Nexant and its predecessor firm, ChemSystems, most recently as Head of Nexant's strategy and finance/chemicals practice. Prior to ChemSystems he worked for BASF for 7 years in various business development roles including 3 years in Japan. He is a PhD Chemist and an MBA.

Samuel Aofolaju has spent 9 years at Nexant/ChemSystems, focussing on the chemicals sector and has a bachelors' degree in Chemical Engineering.

Jane Smith spent 6 years in the strategy and finance/chemicals practice at Nexant, prior to which she worked for 3 years in the chemicals industry in various roles. She has a Masters in Chemistry.

Peter Hall, Partner, said: "We are thrilled to be further expanding our ranks with the addition of such a high calibre team as Anton, Samuel and Jane. This move further bolsters our truly differentiated M&A advisory service which is based on deep expertise in the chemicals and material sector. Our clients will benefit from well-rounded, industry-based experience gleaned from the investment banking, industrial and now strategic consulting worlds. This step also expands Valence's global headcount to 27, making us, by a very significant margin, the world's largest wholly-dedicated M&A team serving the chemicals and related materials sectors."

Brendan Cummins, Senior Executive, added: "As a former CEO and user of investment banking services, I have often been disappointed by the superficial nature of the sector 'expertise' that the so-called industry teams of many investment banks offer. As Valence's clients evaluate and execute acquisitions and divestitures, they will benefit from our unique ability to draw on the expertise of chemicals specialists with multiple perspectives and years of complementary experience in our industry."

Anton Ticktin said: "My colleagues and I are excited to be joining an M&A firm with such a clear and undiluted focus on the chemicals and materials industry. We are very enthusiastic to have the opportunity to apply our transaction-related experience in a new but related role, and to have made the move from consulting to investment banking. No other investment banking firm has such a differentiated position in the market and we look forward to being part of what is clearly the centre of excellence for M&A in the chemicals and materials sector."

About The Valence Group

The Valence Group is a specialist M&A boutique offering advisory services exclusively to companies and investors in the chemicals, materials and related sectors. The firm has developed broad and deep transactional expertise: sell-side, buy-side, joint venture, private companies, public offers, corporate carve-outs, LBOs and management buy-outs. The founders and senior members of The Valence Group collectively have more than 130 years of transactional experience gained both at major investment banks and within chemical companies. The firm's offices are located in London, New York and Shanghai.

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