Chemical Reaction: Closing a Complex, Cross-Border Deal - McDermott Will & Emery

Chemical Reaction: Closing a Complex, Cross-Border Deal


Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile, environmentally friendly chemical, with commercial applications ranging from food safety to electronics. Because it can be used in so many ways, hydrogen peroxide enjoys significant demand in the global market—which is consistent with the current trend toward sustainable products.

Evonik Industries, a world leader in specialty chemicals, is among the leading suppliers of hydrogen peroxide. To capture more specialty applications for hydrogen peroxide, the company set its sights on acquiring PeroxyChem Holding Company, a leading specialties producer of hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals, in a competitive auction process.

Evonik turned to its proven advisors at McDermott, led by Tom Sauermilch, as global lead counsel in helping them navigate the complex, multi-jurisdictional deal.


After overcoming a variety of obstacles, including an FTC complaint aimed at blocking the transaction, Evonik closed the acquisition of PeroxyChem for $640 million.

Throughout the process, the McDermott team worked closely with Evonik’s M&A team, using their skill and experience in multi-jurisdictional M&A deals in the chemicals sector to help the company achieve success. They focused on creative but practical solutions to help Evonik overcome regulatory hurdles, including the timely divestiture of PeroxyChem’s Canadian plant, and ensure the deal closed on favorable terms for their client.

Having previously worked with Evonik as global lead counsel on large transactions, the legal team had a deep understanding of the company’s priorities and was equipped to look out for its interests on an international scale.

McDermott’s work on the deal was recognized with two awards from M&A Advisor: Materials Deal of the Year and Cross-Border Deal of the Year in the $500 million to $1 billion category.