2004 – MBO - Majority stake
Italmatch is a phosphorus derivatives chemicals company based in Genoa with a manufacturing plant in Spoleto ( Umbria , central Italy ). Founded in 1929, it has developed a leading position in its markets in Europe , specifically phosphorus pentasulphide (additives for lubricants), phosphorus sesquisulphide (used in mining and agrochemicals), and red phosphorus (used in pyrotechnics and flame retardants).
While phosphorus pentasulphide products still make up almost 50% of sales for the company, Italmatch's growth is driven from the flame retardant products which have an advantage over traditional halogen based flame retardants in that they do not produce toxic gases when burnt and are recyclable.
Together with management, Argos Soditic developed a strategic plan to grow Italmatch organically by consolidating its position in the lube oil additives market, and developing the phosphorus based flame retardants business in Europe and the US . A joint venture with a Chinese red phosphorus producer was planned to ensure the supply of Italmatch's core material.
In 2003 the decision was taken to put the company up for sale and to take advantage of the on-going consolidation in the sector. Despite interest from the trade, Italmatch was sold in June 2004 to a secondary buy-out arranged by Investindustrial, an Italian financial investor.