However, we see the current market more as a sellers’ market (compared with other sectors), as chemicals has not been hit as hard as consumer services or aviation, for example.
Opportunities still exist, with chemical majors streamlining their portfolios, in the small to midsized markets. It is here that we find companies, already under financial pressure before the crisis, with the COVID-19 pandemic intensifying their distress. On the buyer side, there are many interested investors. A study among PE managers conducted by the Finance Private Equity Panel showed the value indicating their tactical positioning (1 equals seller, 10 equals buyer) rises to 6.8 points, the highest value since mid-2010.⁹ As the past shows, crisis years are often the best time to buy. Buyout funds reached, in 2000–02 and 2009–10, the highest net money multiples of the last 20 years (Figure 9).