Quest Specialty Chemicals Implements ‘Buy and Build’ Strategy

If you own a coatings company with a recognizable brand, a leading market position and an entrepreneurial management team with a growth culture, Quest Specialty Chemicals’ CEO Doug Mattscheck wants to talk to you.

Quest has acquired 10 companies in the last 10 years—three since Mattscheck became CEO in 2012—and he wants to acquire more.

“Acquisitions are the catalyst of our growth and operating improvements augment our growth,” Mattscheck says. “The top 10 coatings companies control the lion’s share of the market, and another thousand companies battle for the balance of it. We want to acquire the best of those small- to medium-sized coatings companies.

“We have a buy-and-build strategy. We buy companies with solid management teams, strong brands and high-value products that have a high touch component in sales and technical support. Then we work hard at efficiently managing our brands, increasing market penetration, developing new products and making operational improvements.“

Quest is the 12th largest coatings company in the United States and one of the largest privately held coatings companies in the world. Last year’s sales were $239 million and are on the rise again in 2014.

The company operates three complementary divisions: Quest Automotive, Quest Industrial and Quest Construction. Each manufactures and markets some of the leading brands in the automotive aftermarket, industrial, transportation and construction industries.

“We serve large, multi-billion global markets that are fragmented. They are not economical for high-volume coatings companies and often too technical for smaller competitors. However, they offer significant growth opportunities for Quest and have allowed us to financially outpace, as a percentage of growth, the world’s largest coatings manufacturers,” Mattscheck adds.

“Our goal is to become a major global coatings company. We can do that by further diversifying our products, end markets, customers and geographies. We want leading positions in niche markets where we can obtain the highest margins and fastest growth.”

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