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New partnership between Leeds businesses is pure chemistry

Stephenson Group
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Two regional businesses in the UK’s chemical sector have joined forces by agreeing a distribution deal to deliver a new product innovation to the personal care and cosmetics market. 

Leeds-based Stephenson Group and Brenntag UK and Ireland, headquarted in Rawdon, have signed a partnership deal that sees Brenntag become the nominated distribution partner in the UK & Ireland for the Stephenson Group’s new range of DUROSOFT® natural emulsifiers. 

The emulsifiers, produced by the Stephenson Group from its manufacturing plant in Horsforth, are used in the formulations of a wide variety of personal care products from facial creams to shower oils. The UK personal care and beauty market was worth an estimated 16 billion euros in 2015. 

The new partnership enables the Stephenson Group to access a much wider personal care market via the Brenntag Group customer network throughout the UK and Ireland. 

The Stephenson Group exports 80 per cent of its output to overseas customers and is currently expanding its product range into the speciality ingredient market. The partnership represents a great opportunity for both businesses to develop their portfolios in the personal care market and provide innovative and bespoke products for cosmetics and personal care brands looking for a natural alternative to the standard emulsifiers currently available. 

A double Queen’s Award Winner for Exporting, the Stephenson Group produces 15,000 tonnes of soap base every year, exporting worldwide to customers who create finished soap bars by adding fragrance, colour and additives. Speciality ingredients are a new addition to their portfolio, drawing on 160 years’ of expertise in formulating solutions to customer needs using creative chemistry.  

Brenntag is the global market leader in full-line chemical distribution. Linking chemical manufacturers and chemical users, it provides business-to-business distribution for industrial and speciality chemicals internationally. 

Commenting on the agreement, Stephenson Group CEO Jamie Bentley,  said: “As one of the world’s leading speciality chemical companies, we proactively chose to work with Brenntag in the UK & Ireland. This is a major step forward for the commercialisation of our ingredients portfolio.

“Brenntag UK and Ireland has recognised the unique benefits of our Durosoft product range, and after many years of co-operation together throughout Europe, we are delighted to be developing our trading relationship with Brenntag UK & Ireland.Our range of emulsifiers are a perfect fit with Brenntag’s portfolio and growth aspirations.”

Nicola Boulter, commercial director (specialties) Brenntag UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to form an alliance with Stephenson Group on their unique range of personal care emulsifiers, bringing together the expertise, infrastructure and creative innovations capabilities of the Brenntag team and the technical advances of Stephenson Group. 

“We look forward to further developing relationships with our existing and new customers, meeting the needs of their formulation requirements and generating new product development projects.”

Stephenson Group
Stephenson Group in Leeds

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