Top Companies Report

29. Zep

July 13, 2010

Atlanta, GA
Sales: $501 million

$501 million. Net income: $9 million for the year ended Aug. 31, 2009

Key Personnel:
John K. Morgan, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Mark R. Bachmann, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Robert P. Collins, vice president and chief administrative officer; Jeffrey J. Sorensen, vice president and chief marketing officer;
David A. Korn, vice president and chief compliance officer; Stanley R. Weller, Ph.D., vice president and chief technology officer; C. Francis Whitaker III, vice president, general counsel and secretary

Major Products:
Industrial and institutional cleaners. Brands include: Zep, Zep Commercial, Zep Professional, Enforcer, National Chemical and Selig; Misty, i-Chem, Next Dimension (acquisition)

New Products:
Septi-Tabs, ProVisions Dish Detergents and Cleaners; Zep Commercial Concentrated Cherry Hand Cleaner, Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner Waterless Hand Cleaner, Antibacterial Foaming Soaps and Hand Sanitizers; Misty Air Care

In tune with the recession, Zep’s net sales fell 13% to $501 million for the year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Net income fell 43% to $9 million. However, with a recent acquisition and distribution deal with Autozone, the company is looking forward to turning around its profits this year.

In January 2010, Zep acquired Amrep, Inc., a Marietta, GA-based marketer of maintenance chemicals for the automotive aftermarket as well as the janitorial market, for a cash purchase price of approximately $64.4 million. As a result of this transaction, Zep Inc.’s product and brand portfolio now includes Misty, Next Dimension, i-Chem and other Amrep proprietary brands.

The company also elected Ronald D. Brown to its board of directors. Brown, who was elected to the class of directors whose terms expire at the 2013 annual meeting, is the managing director of Taft Business Consulting, LLC and was previously the chairman and chief executive officer of Milacron, Inc., a supplier of plastics processing and metal-cutting process technologies.

As part of Zep’s initiative to make its products available to more customers and through more channels, in March the company debuted a line of Zep Commercial hand care products at AutoZone, the national retailer of automotive replacement parts and accessories.

“The size of the automotive aftermarket, coupled with Zep Inc.’s heritage and expertise in providing superior cleaning and maintenance solutions, make this a prime opportunity for Zep Inc.’s continued growth,” said John K. Morgan, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Zep Inc. “Through AutoZone, Zep Inc. will deliver professional-grade products to smaller businesses and individual consumers—giving independent mechanics, small auto repair shops and quick lube operators the ability to purchase products at retail stores.”

Financial results for the second quarter ended Feb. 28, 2010 proved to be more successful than in 2009. Net sales jumped 12.7% to $127.4 million. January and February sales attributable to the Amrep acquisition accounted for $17.8 million of the quarter’s net sales, according to the company.