Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Strem Chemical sold to Ascensus

In this week's Chemical and Engineering News, this news from Craig Bettenhausen (emphasis mine):

After 57 years as an independent chemical supplier, Strem Chemicals has been acquired by the sodium borohydride (NaBH4) maker Ascensus Specialties for an undisclosed sum.

Strem, based in Newburyport, Massachusetts, is an important source for chemical researchers. It offers a wide range of inorganic and organometallic compounds, ligands, catalysts, and nanomaterials for both the research lab and manufacturing. It also provides custom synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Founder Mike Strem and his wife, Ann, tell C&EN that the acquisition completes a circle. Strem started the firm in 1964 in partnership with Ventron Corporation, which pioneered the commercial production of NaBH4 in the 1950s. Strem took his firm independent in 1977.

The Ventron NaBH4 business, meanwhile, went on to be owned by Morton International, then Rohm and Haas, and then Dow. The private equity firm Wind Point Partners bought the business from Dow in 2015 and renamed it Ascensus in 2017...

Despite the corporate history with the buyer they chose, the Strems say the sale is the result of a “lengthy search for a worthy partner” that would share their emphasis on employee well-being and continue to serve customers in the research community well. “They said they want to keep the identity, the global reputation; that you don’t tamper with a good thing,” Ann Strem says.

Glad that the Strems seem to have emphasized this point to Ascensus. Best wishes to the Strems, and to the employees. 


  1. “They said they want to keep the identity, the global reputation; that you don’t tamper with a good thing,” Ann Strem says.

    Sounds just like every acquisition in history. Even if they aren't lying through their teeth, promises like this are forgotten quickly. If you work at an acquired company, start job-hunting ASAP no matter what reassuring things they tell you.

    I used to work for a company whose product line came from many past acquisitions. When a question would come up with one of these products, it was really sad to do some digging in the files and see how what used to be a full-fledged company with an R&D team, a production plant, salespeople, accountants, etc now survives as a couple of product formulations and nothing more.

  2. never give them the EXACT method of making things in your notes I say, you wanna pay me what the lout in the corner office makes THEN I'll give you all my secrets.

  3. For all my organic metallic needs, I always trusted on Strem Chemicals. Too bad it got sold, but not bad for me as I am retired. Good luck to the new owners for inheriting (for a price!) and own it properly. Thanks Strem!


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20