According to reports on financial media outlets, Azelis is targeting a valuation of more than €5bn (US$6bn).
The Antwerp-based company, which is owned by Swedish buyout firm EQT, said the IPO is expected to consist of newly created shares from a capital increase as well as a secondary component from existing shareholders.
It is seeking to raise around €880 million via the process.
The company outlined how the proceeds would go some way to repaying outstanding debt, while providing it with increased financial flexibility; it also expects the IPO to support the company’s growth strategy and future acquisitions by providing funding and giving it access to capital markets.
Dr Hans Joachim Müller, CEO, Azelis, commented: “We have made great progress with the support of EQT in delivering our growth strategy to date, establishing ourselves as a market leading innovation service provider for the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry.
“However, there remains great opportunity ahead. As a public company, we believe we will be able to fully capitalize on growth opportunities, continuing to complement our strong organic growth with accretive acquisitions.
“We are focused on being the preeminent global innovation service provider for the specialty chemicals and food ingredients distribution market."
On the asset trail
In its announcement about the pending IPO, Azelis flagged the “leading role” it has played in market consolidation among specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributors, having completed 21 acquisitions from January 2018 through June 2021.
In July it acquired French company, Quimdis, a French distributor of ingredients for nutraceuticals, flavor and fragrances, animal nutrition, personal care, pharma and food.
That deal, it said, would enhance its lateral value chain by diversifying and expanding its presence in France and EMEA, while providing it with synergistic opportunities in animal nutrition.