Chemical brands moving forward with newly minted NC Brands
In May, Natural Chemistry purchased the SeaKlear division of HaloSource, Inc. Natural Chemistry then rebranded as NC Brands, with its Natural Chemistry, SeaKlear and Red Leopard branded products all falling under the new name. NC Brands president Kate Thielscher says the acquisition was happenchance.
Thielscher ran across an article that said HaloSource’s primary focus going forward was to be drinking water, and she wasted no time getting the company’s CEO, Martin Coles, on the phone. From there, a deal came together at lighting speed.
“The due diligence period was exceptionally short,” Thielscher says. They began talking to HaloSource in March, and the deal was finalized in May. “Normally you would think about targets, and who would do this and who would do that. It turns out [SeaKlear] fit all the right criteria anyway — it’s exactly the kind of company we would want to acquire.”
While there is synergy between the companies and their products, each has its own strengths — SeaKlear with chitosan technology and Natural Chemistry with enzymes.
“We both have strong brand names that are highly reputable and well known to the industry,” says Jamie Novak, brand manager of Natural Chemistry. She says Natural Chemistry brings a strong support system to the well-loved SeaKlear brand.
Besides the speed at which everything came together, the challenge of merging SeaKlear into NC Brands was that it purchased only a division of HaloSource and not the entire company. On day one, it had key systems integrated to meet the needs of customers, instead of the more typical scenario of keeping the two companies operating separately until it all can be consolidated.
“We’ve kept many things the same and some things we are combining with the Natural Chemistry brand,” says Debbie Gordon, CFO. “Our operations people are working on the inventory; we’ve integrated all of the accounting to our corporate office; and the transition seems to be going quite smoothly.”
NC Brands hired three people from SeaKlear and brought on some external rep companies that were working with SeaKlear as well.
“We just had our first combined sales meeting last week, and it was incredible to hear the history behind both brands,” Novak says. “Last week we really came together as a team.”
Novak says existing SeaKlear customers can expect more support with the additional sales force. “They’re going to have more coverage in their stores,” Novak says. “We also have plans to beef up our marketing with new initiatives.”
The SeaKlear brand will, for the most part, remain untouched. Thielscher says it isn’t absorbing or doing away with the SeaKlear brand, which was one of the reasons behind the corporate name change.
“We believe so strongly in both brands,” Gordon says. “We see such opportunity in the future. We’re up for the challenges.”