Carving out a business. Helping BWA become an independent market leader

The opportunity

Prior to our acquisition, the company now known as BWA Water Additives was the non-core industrial water chemicals subsidiary of Chemtura Inc. It had extensive experience in the water treatment sector, where its products were principally used to control the build up of scale and corrosion and to treat microbiological growth in water.

Working with a management team led by Chairman and CEO David Cartmell, we identified an opportunity to create a new independent business and pursue its significant growth potential.

The strategy

In May 2006, we invested to acquire the business from Chemtura and renamed it BWA Water Additives. An early task was to install new and improved operational and reporting IT systems to enable the business to identify margins for each product and customer. We made significant investments in R&D and the sales team, in order to drive growth through product and market expansion. This included establishing new R&D Technical Centres in North America and the UK. We also extended the product portfolio by acquiring a suite of niche formulations from Atkinson Chemicals.

The result

BWA became a global market leader in the development and the marketing of speciality branded chemicals for the water treatment market. Headquartered in the UK and the USA, the business operated in over 80 countries worldwide and experienced revenue growth from $90m to $120m under our ownership, while headcount doubled during the same period.

We realised our investment through the sale of the business to UIB Bank of Bahrain in September 2008, and this generated a return of 3.5x. At the time of our exit a pipeline of new products was in place to help underpin future growth.

Having had a very successful period working alongside CBPE we were only prepared to transition to a new investor if we could find the right partner. In UIB, we believe we have done this and we are looking forward to continued strong growth with them in the future.

David Cartmell, Chairman and CEO


Investment summary

  • Date of investmentMay 2006

  • Exit dateSeptember 2008

  • SectorIndustrials

  • Multiple of Capital3.5x

Key outcomes


Selected investments

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