In a strategic move that offers significant growth opportunities for both parties, Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing has been wholly acquired by CJP Chemicals, effective from 11 November 2011. Both leading companies in their markets, Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing is a distributor of speciality ingredients to the food, health and nutrition, personal care, and cosmetic industries, and CJP Chemicals is a local importer, stockist, and distributor of chemical raw materials and ingredients.
CJP Chemicals was established in 1986 and has shown steady growth in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal care, and industrial markets. The company has branches in four major metropolitan centres and a staff complement of about 200.
Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing (SBCM) will retain its name and continue to operate from its premises in Meadowdale, Edenvale, as a separate division of CJP Chemicals. Sharon and Cyril Bolel and Jack Noble will continue to run the company in their existing executive capacities.
“CJP approached us in 2010 with a view to buying SBCM and negotiations were ongoing for many months. In that time we came to understand the strong synergies that exist between the two companies, the potential to expand both our markets, the similar cultures we share, and the many other positive benefits for our companies, our people, and most importantly, for our existing customers,” says Sharon Bolel of SBCM.
|CJP’s executive team – Joint MDs Stephen Loxton and Ian Smit, Sales Director Graham Ralph, and Ross Randall of Standard Bank – says they were at a stage in their company when they realised that they needed to grow their business in the specialised ingredients market. Buying a highly successful, solutions-based, and service and quality driven company such as Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing made the most sense.
CJP, which is dominant in the food industry with about 65% of its turnover in sales to sectors that include confectionery, bakery, beverages, and dairy, recognised the need to expand into specialised ingredients for the food industry, as well as personal care.
From left: Stephen Loxton, joint MD of CJP with
Sharon Bolel of Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing;
Ian Smit, joint MD of CJP; Cyril Bolel of Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing; Graham Ralph, sales director of
CJP; Jack Noble of Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing; and Ross Randall of Standard Bank and director of CJP.
“We have largely been regarded as a commodities distributor and attracting niche agencies to distribute their specialised ingredients was proving to be a challenge.
Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing with its wide range of agencies in the areas where we would like to expand our business to offer our customers a wider range of ingredients was seen as the perfect match for CJP. We believe that SBCM is one of the vehicle that will take us to where we want to be in terms of company growth,” states Loxton.
Bolel believes that the sale of SBCM to a successful, stable and sales-driven company such as CJP will provide new opportunities such as a larger base from which to expand the SBCM markets and provide customers with a far greater product offering, more career opportunities for people from both companies, improved negotiating strength for SBCM as a division of a large company, access to a countrywide storage and distribution network, and growing markets in African countries including the DRC, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya.
CJP has a total of 24 000 square metres of warehousing in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, in and out of which about 80 000 tons move in one year.
She adds, “When we were assessing the two companies, we were amazed at the way the companies could dovetail their existing operations without conflict or losses. For instance, both companies operate on SAP systems, ensuring that technological networking will not be an issue; there are also no conflicting agencies and all principles and customers who have been approached are positive about the acquisition; our company cultures are remarkably similar, with strong focus on people development; and many more.”
Included in the CJP acquisition is SBCM’s Windrose division, a supplier of a wide range of aromatherapy products, as well as the manufacturing and packaging division which will provide CJP with the capacity to repack commodity products into smaller pack sizes. Staff will retain their positions in the new CJP Chemicals company and in due course, opportunities for career development may be identified within the various divisions.
“2012 got off to an exciting start for us at SBCM and, we believe, for CJP Chemicals too. Much of the year will be spent consolidating our activities as well as focusing on growth in speciality ingredients. We are exceptionally positive about these changes and developments in the life of our business and anticipate building a strong new – and even more successful – company together with the CJP team,” states Bolel.