Charkit acquires CA Specialties and Custom Ingredients, Cathy Ayer Clark stays on as president

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (marchmeena29)
© Getty Images \ (marchmeena29)

Related tags CBD acquisition Ingredient suppliers

Late last week, the multi-industry chemical supplier announced its latest acquisition. Adding the Custom Ingredients business to its portfolio means Charkit now offers that company’s popular ready-made ingredient blends for both personal care and industrial customers.

Cathy Ayer Clark founded CA Specialties in 1987 and nearly a decade later (in 1995) founded Custom Ingredients. The business of Custom Ingredients centers on ready-made blends of ingredients that beauty manufacturers (as well as other industrial clients) can purchase to accelerate and streamline their production process.

These CustoBlend concentrates, as they are called often facilitate cold processing and can be “tailored…to customer needs and to ensure optimal performance and superior batch-to-batch consistency,” ​according to a media release about this month’s acquisition.

Custom Ingredients makes a large variety of its blends. But just for illustration here are a few: A Bath Gel Concentrate blend contains sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, and cocamide MEA. A natural beeswax lip balm base comprises castor seed oil, candelilla wax, shea butter oil, beeswax, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. And a scalp stimulant concentrate is made up of propylene glycol, nettle extract, arnica flower extract, watercress extract, rosemary leaf extract, and sage leaf extract.

 In her remarks to the press this month, Clark asserts that “Charkit represents the ideal partner for Custom Ingredients. Our organizations are complementary and will support each other’s growth. With long-term vision and increased access to markets and capital, I’m delighted to partner with Jay and the Charkit/LBB Specialties team as we grow forward together.”

Strategic growth

In 2017 LeBaronBrown Industries LLC invested in Charkit as a long-term majority shareholder. And Charkit has, ever since, operated a subsidiary of LBB Specialties. The objective of such an investment is of course growth, which Simon Brown and Matthew LeBaron acknowledged at the time of the deal in comments to the press: “building on the [Charkit] Company's operating excellence, we will be actively seeking complementary acquisitions in the specialty chemical distribution industry.”

Commenting on this month’s deal, Charles Hinnant, CEO and president of LBB Specialties, point out that “this acquisition further demonstrates how our expansion forms the cornerstone of the LBB Specialties growth strategy.  We are looking for companies that would fall into the ‘tuck-in’ category (up to $50m), as well as larger businesses in the range of $100m which would become platform  brand identity and owners who are not quite ready to retire and want to manage the growth of their individual brands under the auspices of LBB.”

Related news

Charkit was in the news here on Cosmetics Design earlier this year when the company partnered with Panacea Life Sciences. That deal means that Charkit is now distributing CBD isolates and distillates to beauty makers. Read more here on Cosmetics Design.



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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