Cosmetic and PBC distributors ChemSolv and Chemisphere announce IPG joint distribution platform

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“As we move forward, IPG will pursue organic growth while continuing our acquisition strategy to build out a full-line chemical distribution and blending platform,” said Darren J. Birkelbach, IPG’s CEO. © Tom Merton Getty Images
“As we move forward, IPG will pursue organic growth while continuing our acquisition strategy to build out a full-line chemical distribution and blending platform,” said Darren J. Birkelbach, IPG’s CEO. © Tom Merton Getty Images

Related tags distribution Joint venture Personal care

Integrity Partners Group will expand operations for distribution companies to serve cosmetics and PBC product manufacturers better across the US and internationally.

US-based regional chemical distributors ChemSolv and Chemisphere have announced a new joint platform for distribution services across 43 states and multiple international locations.

The new platform will operate as Integrity Partners Group (IPG) and will leverage the companies’ combined resources and years of expertise in personal care ingredient supply and distribution to offer “a full array of tailored solutions, including blending, packaging, quality testing, white-label formulations, custom logistics, repurchasing, and solvent recycling services​” to industry manufacturers and suppliers, including surfactants for product formulations, detailed a company press release on the announcement.

To learn more about Chemsolv and Chemisphere, the background behind the formation of IPG, and the platform’s potential impact on US personal care product manufacturing and supply companies, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Darren J. Birkelbach, IPG’s CEO, for his insights.

CDU: Can you share some background information about ChemSolv?​ 

Darren J. Birkelbach (DJB):​ ChemSolv is a US distributor of industrial chemicals, solvents, lubricants, metal working fluids, and specialty products. The company is based in Roanoke, Virginia and serves more than 1,400 customers in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast.  

ChemSolv works with strategic suppliers and other trusted manufacturers to deliver high-quality, innovative products for beauty and personal care. 

In addition to an excellent product portfolio, ChemSolv is known for providing blending, tolling and distillation with a strong focus on the customer. The company has its own hot rooms, white rooms, and an abundance of manufacturing and storage space.  

Importantly, ChemSolv is a member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and is dedicated to meeting the organization’s rigorous standards in order to provide neighbors and customers with the highest level of confidence. 

CDU: Can you share some background information about Chemisphere?​ 

DJB:​ Chemisphere is a chemical distributor based in St. Louis, Missouri, that serves the Midwest. The company has more than 44 years of experience and, like ChemSolv, offers manufacturing, packaging, and other services that complement distribution. 

For example, Chemisphere offers custom blends, toll-manufactured products, and ethanol and acetone-based products, and supplies pure and denatured alcohol for a variety of applications, ranging from hand sanitizers and lotions to fragrances and detergents.  

Chemisphere is also NACD verified and committed to safety.  

CDU: Can you share some background information on the formation and launch of IPG?​ 

DJB:​ IPG was born through OpenGate Capital’s acquisitions of ChemSolv and Chemisphere. Both companies are highly respected in their respective regions and together cover 43 states. With a strategic vision and a shared commitment to excellence, IPG combines the strengths and expertise of both operating companies to deliver a broader portfolio of solutions, technical expertise, and unique capabilities with unparalleled customer service.  

As we move forward, IPG will pursue organic growth while continuing our acquisition strategy to build out a full-line chemical distribution and blending platform.  

CDU: Were there any challenges to the formation and launch of IPG?​ 

DJB:​ As expected, the formation of IPG certainly presented its share of challenges. Any time you increase collaboration between two distinct entities it requires careful planning and coordination. 

Challenges included aligning organizational cultures, streamlining operations and processes, and effectively communicating the vision and goals of the newly formed IPG to all stakeholders. However, with a dedicated team and a structured integration strategy, we successfully navigated these challenges and built a full-line chemical distribution and blending platform to serve the key markets in our chosen geographies. 

CDU: What are IPG’s main goals for the cosmetics and personal care product industries? ​ 

DJB:​ We are expanding our capabilities through lab activities, application-specific formulations and additional product lines to serve the cosmetic and personal care market. Our first step is to make sure that any acquisitions or new suppliers bring complementary product lines to IPG’s existing portfolio. 

Add-on acquisitions are appealing, as are larger acquisitions that bring us even closer to more customers across the US. We’re also looking for ways to further strengthen our expansive blending capabilities. 

CDU: What is IPG’s potential impact on manufacturers and suppliers to the cosmetics and personal care product industries?​ 

DJB:​ IPG is a chemical distribution platform that has two operating companies, ChemSolv and Chemisphere. Together, about 19% of our sales go into the personal care industry. Delivering solutions for cosmetic chemistry is a significant part of our business.  

Today, we offer products such as antioxidants, plant oils, emollients, fragrance, and cosmetic-grade solvents. Our goal is to grow our portfolio and our services, and as we do, we plan on expanding our offering of sustainable solutions, botanicals, and other products that enhance consumers’ sense of well-being and connection to nature while respecting the environment.  

Beyond the products we offer, what makes IPG unique is our capabilities and our integrity. We go above and beyond for our customers with services like blending, tolling, and distillation. ChemSolv and Chemisphere have 2.7 million gallons of storage capacity, 80,000 gallons of blending capacity, and 35,000 square feet of manufacturing space. We even offer creative logistics thanks to 24/7 shipping and a private fleet of more than 50 trucks. We do what it takes – and we do it responsibly and safely. 

CDU: What are the future plans for IPG? ​ 

DJB:​ IPG will grow organically and inorganically. We will continue to grow our business in the personal care market. At the same time, we’ll expand in other key markets we serve like food and beverage, industrial and pharmaceutical. 

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