Introducing Ingevity – WestRock’s Specialty Chemicals Spinoff

Starboard Fund, the ‘Tom Brady of activists‘, successfully campaigned for a spinoff of MeadWestvaco’s specialty chemical group earlier this year. The spin got delayed a bit as the company merged with RockTenn in order to create a consumer and corrugated packaging giant named WestRock (WRK). Now that the merger has closed, the spinoff is heating up again and a new name for the spinco was recently unveiled: Ingevity. According to Ed Rose, the president of MWV specialty chemicals, the name is a ‘unique expression of our purpose – to turn our customers’ complex challenges into powerful possibilities…the name speaks to our longstanding record of success and commitment to serving our customers through innovative products, processes and services.’ Sure, that or made up gobbledygook.

Ingevity will be led by D. Michael Wilson who will become its CEO after the spinoff. Mr. Wilson was previously an EVP at Albemarle’s Performance Chemicals business and he has a long history of leadership roles in the industry. The specialty chemicals unit will adopt the Ingevity name beginning on September 1st and the tax free spinoff is expected to be completed sometime this year.

Disclosure: Author holds no position in any stock mentioned.