Huntsman family to acquire American Pacific's specialty chemicals business

15:21 PM | November 16, 2015 | Robert Westervelt

Huntsman Family Investments (HFI; Salt Lake City, UT), the the family-office investment platform for the family of Jon M. Huntsman Sr., has reached agreement to acquire American Pacific Corp’s (Ampac) specialty chemicals business from H.I.G. Capital (Miami). Terms were not disclosed but HFI has raised roughly $200 million in debt from banks to finance the deal, says Paul Huntsman, president and CEO of HFI.

American Pacific’s Utah-based specialty chemicals segment primarily supplies rocket-grade ammonium perchlorate used in solid-propellant rockets, booster motors and missiles used by the US Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). H.I.G. will continue to own and operate Ampac Fine Chemicals, a supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and registered intermediates to the pharmaceutical industry,

“We are thrilled to be investing in the great state of Utah and look forward to growing this exceptional business.” said Paul Huntsman. “American Pacific [specialty chemicals] represents the ideal investment for HFI and builds upon our longstanding heritage in the chemicals industry.”

The business acquired by HFI is located in Cedar City, UT with corporate offices in Las Vegas, NV. In addition to perchlorates, the company makes Halotron, an alternative to halon-based fire-extinguishing agents, and sodium azide, a pharmaceutical intermediate. Ampac reported in late 2013 that the Utah facility was capable of producing 30 million lbs/year of perchlorate chemicals.

Paul Huntsman says HFI will generally look for investments of up to $300 million and may bring in other family offices to invest alongside for certain transactions. “Our objective is to make control investments in industrial materials and related service companies, many of which will leverage our heritage in chemicals,” says Paul Huntsman. HFI will also “partner with other like-minded international family offices in a variety of diversified businesses.” Jon M. Huntsman Sr. is founder and chairman of Huntsman Corp.