Nagase Specialty Materials: a new and improved beauty ingredient distributor

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

 Laura Mack, CFO (left) and Mark Miller, President & COO Nagase Specialty Materials NA LLC  (photo courtesy of the company)
Laura Mack, CFO (left) and Mark Miller, President & COO Nagase Specialty Materials NA LLC (photo courtesy of the company)

Related tags: Specialty chemical company

Nagase acquired Fitz Chem Corporation in 2017; and this month’s inauguration of the new Nagase Specialty Materials venture results from the full integration of the two specialty chemical businesses.

As Cosmetics Design reported 2017, the acquisition of Fitz Chem was part of a larger expansion strategy.​ That deal helped the company firmly establish itself in the 12 Midwest States and several neighboring States as well.

But the company’s plans for growth are larger still: “Nagase Specialty Materials plans to have a footprint covering all North America by 2025,” ​according to his month’s press release about the newly integrated businesses.

Nagase Specialty Materials is part of an international dyes and chemicals business headquartered in Japan

Nagase Specialty Materials is a North America business owned by the Nagase Group, founded in 1832 and based in Kyoto, Japan. And, the newly integrated NY Chemicals Division and its Illinois Fitz Chem businesses effectively established the company’s US headquarters in Itasca, Illinois.

Nagase Specialty Materials (NSM) opened its doors on September 1st. But the integration has been in progress for months: “Our teams have worked tirelessly this year to ensure a seamless transition for our customers, suppliers and business partners into our new organization,” ​Laura Mack, Chief Financial Officer and Integration Head for NSM, tells the press. Mack joined the company at the time of the Fitz Chem acquisition; she’d been that company’s CFO since 1993.

“I’m very proud of them and their effort,” ​says Mack, referring to her colleagues who’ve worked to join the two businesses into one, “especially given the constraints imposed during the pandemic.”

Nagase Specialty Materials is an ingredient distributor, specialty chemical maker, and more

The NSM team has grown by 20% in recent months, according to the company’s press release. Half of those new roles are business development roles and the other half are corporate roles in the Itasca offices.

Besides being a headquarters, the Itasca site is also home to the Itasca Innovation Center, where the company’s manufacturers work in tandem with product formulators “to test performance and generate new products and formulations to serve leading brands.”

This sort of in-house collaboration is increasingly common as suppliers and manufacturers in the cosmetics and personal care industry build and open facilities to accommodate customer education and collaboration.

Mark Miller, President and Chief Operating Officer of NSM, affirms as much in his comments to the press, saying that “Many chemists from name-brand beauty and personal care products spend time in our lab formulating better products for everyday use​.”

“We are a growing company, excited to be bringing more jobs to Illinois,” ​adds Miller.  

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