This spring, members of ACG hosted U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., at Vantage Specialty Chemicals, Lambent Division, in Gurnee, Ill. Vantage is a specialty chemicals producer focused on naturally derived ingredients serving global end markets, including personal care, consumer products, industrial and food markets. Vantage converts renewable animal and vegetable-based raw materials into products that are widely used in a range of everyday items such as cosmetics, snack cakes, cooking sprays, specialty cleaning supplies and lubricants.
Vantage was acquired by middle-market private equity firm The Jordan Company (TJC) in 2012. Vantage has annual sales of $550 million with four U.S. manufacturing plants. The Gurnee plant (Lambent Division) has sales of $150 million, employs over 190 people and has seen average growth of 13 percent per year. The Lambent Division has invested more than $21 million in capital over the past five years in its 15-acre facility. In addition, $4.5 million of that capital has been invested to improve employee safety and environmental compliance. These investments have supported business
growth, resulting in 32 new jobs and a 20 percent increase in full-time employment at the Gurnee facility.
Providing the case study of the Vantage and TJC partnership allowed Schneider the opportunity to see the value of private capital and the importance of the middle market. The congressman also was able to share with ACG, TJC and the senior Vantage executives his business acumen as an industrial engineer and owner of Cadence Consulting Group, LLC and Lead-Out Capital Partners, LLC. Schneider’s career in business and consulting with small and mid-sized businesses allowed for detailed discussions about federal policies that are needed to grow and foster the middle market.