Quest sells 2 divisions to Valspar Corp.


A Daniel Island company that grew into one of the biggest high-performance coatings manufacturers in North America has sealed a deal to sell two of its three divisions.

Quest Specialty Chemicals said the Valspar Corp. finalized the purchase of Quest Automotive Products and Quest Industrial Products on Tuesday.

The subsidiaries had a combined $190 million in global sales of specialty coatings for the automotive, transportation and industrial markets, the companies said.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though media outlets have reported that Minneapolis-based Valspar paid about $300 million.

“Over the past several years we have successfully built strong teams and grown these businesses into leadership positions in their markets,” Quest Specialty Chemicals CEO Doug Mattscheck said in a statement. “I’m very pleased that in Valspar we have a buyer who can continue to build the business, brands and customer relationships.”

The purchaser is a publicly traded company with sales of about $4.5 billion in its 2014 fiscal year. Valspar announced the Quest acquisition May 27.

The automotive division it picked up makes refinish coatings, fillers, putties and accessories primarily under the Matrix, Pro-Spray and USC brands.

It is based in Massillon, Ohio, and has operations in Michigan and the United Kingdom.

The industrial unit sells to the professional and consumer markets with aerosol sprays and coatings under the Patriot, Raabe and Precision Color brands. It is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis.

“Our customers will benefit from expanded distribution of a portfolio of preferred brands they know and trust, a broader range of high-performance products and a stronger service network,” Valspar CEO Gary Hendrickson said in a statement.

Quest Specialty Chemicals was formed in 2003 by industry veterans with the backing of private-equity firm Huron Capital to buy small coatings manufacturers, Mattscheck said Tuesday.

Through internal growth and a flurry of acquisitions, it became a big player in the industry.

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The company was sold and recapitalized in 2011 by Audax Group, Moelis Capital Partners and Quest management.

That same year, the company hired Mattscheck, who had been working in Aiken. He decided to move the corporate office on Daniel Island.

Quest Specialty Chemicals still owns a North Charleston-based construction products business that makes roofing systems, reflective coatings for buildings and pavement coatings. That division, which is for sale, had about $60 million in revenue last year.

“Business is doing great,” Mattscheck said.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.