GIL acquires UK specialty chemicals business Shepherd Widnes


Directors of GIL Investments have acquired the Widnes operations of The Shepherd Chemical Company (also known as “Shepherd Widnes”) in their latest significant transaction in the chemicals sector.

Shepherd Widnes is a specialist manufacturer of cobalt-based salts and compounds. The business supplies into a wide variety of applications including catalysts, pigments and animal nutrition. The business is led by a strong local management team and supplies a global customer base from a manufacturing and R&D facility in North-West England. It generates annual sales of £25m and remains a supplier to the Shepherd Chemical business in the USA.

‘Very much a Traditional GIL Deal’

Trevor Middleton, Investment Director at GIL, said

“This transaction is very much a traditional GIL deal, being a corporate divestment of a UK chemicals business. We very much look forward to working with local management including Gary Jones and Paul Croft to take the business forward under new ownership. I would also like to express our thanks to Tom Shepherd, Stephen Kent and Ken Schulte at Shepherd Chemical for their professionalism and pragmatism during what was a complex transaction. GIL continues to specialise in corporate divestments as we believe this type of transaction is well-suited to our long-term, collaborative and credible investment approach.


The acquisition represents the eleventh business since 2002 acquired by GIL from larger corporate entities. From the current portfolio of thirteen, eight businesses were corporate carve-outs or non-core divestments. It is the fourth transaction of the year for GIL, following the disposals of Road Transport Media and Akcros and the refinance of GI Solutions Group in early 2016.


GIL were advised during the transaction by RSM, Gateley Plc and Business Strategy Group. Banking facilities are being provided to the business by Close Invoice Finance. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.