Cranbury-based Innophos to be acquired for $932M

A year ago, in an interview with ROI-NJ, Innophos Chair and CEO Kim Ann Mink said she felt Innophos could become a billion-dollar company. Monday, she nearly got her wish.

Cranbury-based Innophos — a global company that partners with clients to create essential ingredients and science-backed solutions for the food, health, nutrition and industrial markets — announced Monday morning that it is being acquired by One Rock Capital Partners for $32 a share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $932 million.

The offer price represents an 18% premium to the 30-trading day volume-weighted average closing share price of Innophos’ common stock ended Sept. 9, the last trading day prior to published market speculation regarding a potential transaction involving the company.

Innophos was valued at $722 million when Mink made her statement.

“After careful consideration and a thorough review of our strategic alternatives, including an outreach program to multiple potential financial and strategic partners over several months, the board determined that a sale to One Rock is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders,” Mink said in a statement.

“We remain confident that our transformational strategy is the right path forward for Innophos; however, executing on this strategy in an increasingly volatile macroeconomic and complex financial environment as a small-cap public company remains challenging and could take longer than initially expected. While we believe our long-term goals are achievable, we believe that the offer from One Rock is in the best interest of our stockholders, as it will deliver immediate and certain value. We believe this transaction represents a winning proposition for all of our stakeholders, including our employees and customers.”

The statement did not detail how or if Mink would continue with the company. She currently is one of just a handful of female CEOs for companies based in New Jersey.

According to Innophos and One Rock, the transaction will be financed through a combination of committed equity financing provided by affiliates of One Rock, as well as committed debt financing from several financial institutions.

The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2020, subject to stockholder and regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Upon the completion of the transaction, Innophos will become a privately held company and shares of Innophos’ common stock will no longer be listed on any public market.

Mink joined Innophos in 2015 as CEO and president. Last year, she told ROI-NJ it was an opportunity too good to pass up.

“I saw an opportunity to implement structures and processes to strengthen the company’s foundation while focusing on operational and commercial excellence, safety, talent management, and to really pivot the company’s strategy to expand its focus beyond its historical roots in phosphates and capitalize on emerging opportunities,” she said.

The company has manufacturing operations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China, as well as a manufacturing plant and additional administrative site in East Hanover.

Mink said she intended for Innophos to become a $1.25 billion company by 2022.

“We are bringing our customers solutions to address their demands and, of course, capitalizing on industry trends,” she said then.

One Rock Managing Partner Tony Lee said Monday the company has a bright future.

“Innophos’ innovative ingredient solutions are used by world-leading brands across a wide range of attractive food, health, nutrition and industrial markets,” he said in a statement. “The company has a strong foundation and a transformative growth strategy.

“In drawing upon One Rock’s extensive experience, part of our goal is to maximize Innophos’ growth potential by continuing to expand its presence in high-growth food, health and nutrition markets, while further strengthening and optimizing its cash-generative core business. We look forward to working with Innophos to accomplish these goals and position the company for continued success.”

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