BioLab to change ownership

CONYERS — One of Conyers’ best-known manufacturers will change ownership by the end of the year.

Chemtura, the parent company of BioLab Inc., announced Thursday it has entered into a stock purchase agreement to sell its global consumer products business to Canada-based KIK Custom Products. The purchase price was reported at $315 million.

BioLab manufactures pool and spa products at its Conyers facility, along with some household products like The Works and Greased Lightning. BioLab first opened in Conyers in 1973; the company was founded in the 1950s.

Brian Payseno, director of communications for BioLab, said the Conyers facility is the company’s only manufacturing site in Georgia. BioLab’s corporate headquarters and research and development facilities are located in Lawrenceville.

BioLab employs 228 in Conyers, making it one of the community’s largest employers. Payseno said it’s early in the transition process, but that no changes are anticipated at the Conyers plant.

“At this point we just signed the deal, so we haven’t been able to have any conversations,” Payseno said. “The company that bought us has a footprint of manufacturing facilities, but they don’t have one like ours.

“They bought us for our manufacturing expertise and our brands,” he added.

KIK Custom Products is one of North America’s largest contract and private label manufacturers of consumer, institutional and industrial products, according to a press release issued Thursday. KIK produces national brand and private label consumer products for Fortune 500 companies.

“This acquisition is an important step for BioLab as we drive towards our long-term vision,” said BioLab President Jon Viner. “Being part of a consumer-oriented company like KIK allows us to focus on our strategy of bringing innovative solutions to the market and providing even greater service to our dealers and retail partners.”

“We are excited about this acquisition, which enhances our household cleaning portfolio and furthers our ongoing commitment to pool care,” said Stratis Katsiris, president of KIK’s Classic Division. KIK entered the pool care business in 2011 with the acquisition of US-based Chem-Lab Products Inc., and the Kem-Tek brand.

Payseno said BioLab is aware of concerns its employees might have, and said the transaction is a “very mutually beneficial relationship” in which KIK “sees value in (BioLab) and wants to grow it. That’s important, that bodes very well for us.”

“We can’t say as much as we want to, but we are very sensitive to our employees and want to reassure them that this is very good for us,” Payseno said.

Fred Boscarino, president of the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber looks forward to continuing to serve the needs of Biolab and its parent company in the future.

“The nature of business is growth with associated expected profitability, regardless of the size of the business,” said Boscarino in a statement. “It is the purpose of the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce to nurture business to assist them in achieving their desire goals. It is to be expected that a business with good products, markets and well-established logistics will attract the attention of other growth-minded businesses. A large percentage of growth is attained by acquisition, so a successful, well-run business such as BioLab and Chemtura looks very attractive to larger companies, especially when geographic advantages add to the needs of the larger one.”

BioLab is a global manufacturer and marketer of pool and spa brands such as BioGuard, Aqua Chem, Bayrol, SpaGuard, OMNI, Pool Time, Spa Time and SUN. In addition to the Conyers plant, the sale from Chemtura Corporation (NYSE/EuroNext Paris: CHMT) includes dedicated manufacturing plants in Lake Charles, La.; and Atlantis, South Africa. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals with a targeted close date of Dec. 31.