General Business

Asbury Carbons Acquired by Mill Rock Capital

Through the formation of a new growth platform called Mill Rock Advanced Materials LLC, Mill Rock Capital Growth as acquired Asbury Carbons, Inc. from the Riddle family. In connection with the transaction, Stephen A. Riddle has made a significant investment in the company and will remain on its board of directors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Asbury, founded in 1895 by Harry M. Riddle and based in Asbury, is a provider of advanced materials, specializing in carbon additive solutions for a wide range of end markets and applications. The company is North America’s largest processor and supplier of natural and synthetic graphite and cokes and the world’s largest independent processor of graphite.

Asbury sources these materials on a global basis and operates 12 facilities in which the company processes and distributes a broad range of application-specific materials and additives to customers’ exacting performance requirements. Asbury’s products are used in polymers and rubbers, paints and coatings, lubricants, specialty ceramics, friction products, insulation and other materials. The company’s additives impart differentiating qualities alone or in combination with other materials, including thermal and electrical conductivity, lubrication, pore formation, filtration, purification, and strength enhancement. Asbury’s manufacturing and distribution sites are located in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and the Netherlands, with sales offices across North America, Europe and Asia.

In connection with the transaction, Mill Rock has appointed Gregg A. Jones as Asbury’s chairman and CEO. Previously, Gregg was CEO of EP Minerals. Scott Palm has joined as senior vice president strategy and innovation, having previously served in a similar role at EP Minerals. Eric Walmet, formerly of Ingevity Corporation, has joined Asbury as senior vice president operations. All positions are new or were previously vacant. Noah Nichelson will remain president and chief operating officer. Ed Rose, Mill Rock senior partner and former president of Ingevity Corporation, will join Asbury’s board of directors.

“I’m delighted to join the Asbury team and see a very bright future for our business and the graphite industry,” said Jones. “This is an exciting day for Asbury’s associates and customers as we embark on a new chapter of growth. Asbury has cultivated the leading market position over many years through an unparalleled focus on customer success and product innovation. Going forward, we will seek to accelerate growth through further investment in people, applications, processes and systems, as well as through selective acquisitions,” he added.

“Mill Rock is the ideal partner for the success of the Asbury organization, our people and our customers. Their ongoing investment and additional resources will support our unwavering commitment to provide our customers with the same high quality, bespoke products they’ve counted on for the last 128 years, while developing new advanced materials and additive solutions for next generation challenges. Our industry is entering a growth phase in which differentiated graphite applications are in high demand, and Asbury is optimally suited to meet those needs,” said President Noah Nichelson.

Mill Rock Co-Founders Christopher Whalen and Adi Pekmezovic stated, “We are incredibly honored that the Riddle family has entrusted us with the business they started nearly 130 years ago. We are eager to continue their legacy and invest in the company’s next phase of growth and product innovation. Asbury pioneered the North American graphite market and is the consummate foundation upon which to build an advanced materials platform.”

Moelis & Company LLC, PJT Park Hill, Alvarez & Marsal Transaction Advisory Group, White & Case LLP, Foley & Lardner LLP and Advancy advised Mill Rock Capital on the transaction. PNC Bank, N.A. provided debt financing. Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC acted as financial advisor to Asbury on the transaction.

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