Wednesday, June 13, 2012
VOLUME 12 ISSUE 24  





Calumet Buys Royal Purple
By John M. Vockley
 
Calumet Specialty Products continued its recent path of aggressive growth last week when it purchased Royal Purple, a privately held commercial and industrial lubricants producer in Porter, Texas, for approximately $335 million.
 
Founded in 1986, Royal Purple produces consumer and industrial lubricants and shares a similar customer base with Calumet “that will lead to substantial marketing synergies between the two companies,” according to Calumet President and CEO Jennifer Straumins.
 
Royal Purple—along with previous acquisitions of refineries from ConocoPhillips, Pennzoil and Murphy Oil—improves Calumet’s “vertical integration,” Straumins said. Earlier this year Calumet bought blender and distributor TruSouth Oil of Shreveport, La., and Ashland subsidiary Hercules’ aviation and refrigerant lubricants business in St. Louis, Mo. Terms were not disclosed for either transaction.
 
“All three of these businesses [TruSouth, Hercules and Royal Purple], will integrate nicely with each other. There are a lot of synergies between the three,” the Calumet CEO said. She added that Calumet is a current supplier to Royal Purple as well.
 
These acquisitions, Straumins said, “help us to vertically integrate our production and our product line, moving closer and closer to the consumer.” Following this strategy, Calumet intends on growing both the packaging and feedstock operations.  The company says it will continue to seek opportunities to acquire other facilities that will help it increase total refining capacity.
 
“We feel like there are a lot of opportunities available to us,” Straumins said, but declined to provide specifics. “Our business strategy is to take advantage of majors leaving the space or small privately held companies deciding that they want to move on and do something else. We will continue to acquire niche assets that major oil companies no longer desire to have.”
 
Indianapolis-based Calumet has a base oil plant in Shreveport with 7,000 barrels per day API Group II and 4,800 b/d Group I capacity, and another in Princeton, La., with 6,900 b/d naphthenic capacity. It employs 900 people in the United States and adds approximately another 100 from Royal Purple.
 
Straumins said Royal Purple sells to a very diverse customer base in oil and gas, chemical and refining, power generation, manufacturing and transportation. It is also involved in drug manufacturing and the automotive aftermarket.
 
She said Purple Royal’s customer base, product line and assets made it an attractive target. Royal Purple reported full-year net sales for 2011 of $109.5 million. Straumins said that Royal Purple “continues on the strong growth path” for 2012 that they have exhibited over the last many years.”
 
Straumins pointed to Royal Purple’s in-house formulation and R&D department as factoring into the sale. “The technology that they have created over the last several years has positioned them well for many years to come … They currently outsource some of their production, so there is room for expansion and room for growing the base line without significant capital expenditure.”  
 
According to Straumins, the Purple Royal brand has expanded from about 500 retail outlets to almost 25,000 over the last two years. While noting the strong commercial growth, she said Royal Purple is more heavily weighted from a volume standpoint to the industrial side of the business. “There are lots of opportunities” in the oil, gas and wind market, she added.
 
 

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