KODA Distribution Group

Summary

Partnered with management to catalyze growth by acquiring and integrating seven add-ons, which expanded KODA’s geographic and end-market diversification.

Background

Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, KODA Distribution Group (“KODA” or, the “Company”), is a leader in specialty chemical distribution in the U.S. and Canada.  KODA is organized around industry verticals in North America by the following focus markets: coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers (“CASE”); specialty agriculture; personal care; pharma / nutrition; and industrial (plastics, lubrication, and metalworking). Each industry vertical shares similar approaches to their markets: deep technical expertise and market knowledge, a service platform that includes marketing and product management, a network of application labs to support customers, a focus on customer intimacy, and premier customer service.

Challenge

While prior ownership had established KODA as a leading distributor of specialty chemicals into the CASE market, it was evident that there was opportunity for expansion in North America.  When Audax acquired KODA in October of 2010, the Company was a super-regional CASE distributor with $220 million of revenue.  Audax’ strategy focused on creating a national CASE platform and then expanding into higher growth and higher margin end-markets to create a leading, national specialty distribution platform across multiple market segments.

Together with management, Audax completed seven acquisitions during our ownership.  KODA’s first two acquisitions created a national CASE platform and the subsequent five acquisitions transformed KODA into the only multi-vertical specialty chemical distributor in North America with national presence.  KODA expanded into the specialty agriculture, personal care, pharma / nutrition, and Canadian markets.  KODA also underwent an entire corporate and end-market vertical rebranding, including new logos and websites, marking a fundamental change from its prior owners.

The Audax Difference

Audax proved to be an excellent match for KODA in supporting the Company’s organic and acquisitive growth.   Audax supported the growth of KODA through executive team hires including a CEO, CFO, VP of IT, and VP of HR.  Audax also invested in KODA’s systems and infrastructure to enable expansion.  During Audax’ ownership, KODA rebranded from loose regional brands into national end-market verticals, transitioned the business onto a single IT platform, upgraded the website, and implemented a common business intelligence system.

After improving KODA’s market position and growing to greater than $730 million in revenue, Audax sold KODA to Azelis Group, a portfolio company of funds controlled by Apax Partners, in December of 2015.

“Audax has been a great partner and resource in helping our team transform through seven acquisitions into one of the leading specialty chemicals distribution platforms in North America,” Frank Bergonzi, CEO, KODA.

“We congratulate Frank and his team on successfully building KDG through seven acquisitions and expanding into new end markets and geographies. We have enjoyed partnering with Frank and his team to execute our acquisition strategy,” Don Bramley, Managing Director, Audax Private Equity.


Audax has been a great partner and resource in helping our team transform through seven acquisitions into one of the leading specialty chemicals distribution platforms in North America.”

  • Frank Bergonzi CEO, KODA

We congratulate Frank and his team on successfully building KDG through seven acquisitions and expanding into new end markets and geographies. We have enjoyed partnering with Frank and his team to execute our acquisition strategy.”

  • Don Bramley Managing Director, Audax Private Equity