All Under One Roof

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | May 3, 2013

A visit with Spectrum Chemicals.

A lot of companies in the personal care space claim to offer “a wide range” of materials for formulators. Few can match the breadth and depth, however, of Spectrum Chemicals & Laboratory Products. And while the bulk of its business is devoted to pharmaceuticals, a portion of Spectrum’s business is in personal care and growing dramatically, according to Prem Jain, president and chief executive officer.

“Our offerings are very wide and broad,” asserted Jain. “That’s what makes us unique. Nobody has what we have to offer.”

And what does Spectrum have? Among its 35,000 products, 1,500 are specifically for personal care and include surfactants, emulsifiers, emollients, antioxidants and preservatives. All of them are listed in Spectrum’s 2013-2015 USP Chemical Catalog, which features vitamins, coQ10, kojic acid, resveratrol and many other personal care ingredients.

A Comprehensive Line of Organics
Nearly a year ago, the Spectrum lineup was greatly expanded when it signed a distribution agreement with TCI America to distribute more than 22,000 TCI organic chemicals for research and science. According to Jain, Spectrum and TCI America have partnered to provide the most comprehensive line of organics for R&D, biochemical, medicinal chemistry and general laboratory use.

Overall, Spectrum is filling orders that range in size from early research to scale-up to production.

Spectrum also has a huge laboratory equipment business, offering more than 100,000 lab supply products from 250 manufacturers such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Corning and Mettler Toledo.

Spectrum was founded in 1971 by Paul Burg, whose family still retains control of the privately held firm, which has operations in New Jersey, California, Arizona and China. All US production facilities are ISO 9001:2008 certified, FDA registered and operate under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), according to the company.

Jain was named president and CEO of Spectrum in 2011, and has more than 30 years of experience in the chemical industry, having served as a senior chemist for Bristol-Myers Squibb and a quality compliance director for Ruger Chemical Co. Now he and the other company executives want more. Jain told Happi that Spectrum is looking to make an acquisition in the $25-30 million range.

Specifically, the company is looking for chemical companies with a presence in New Jersey and California.

“We have everything in place for a successful acquisition,” he explained. “We have the infrastructure, management and the cash.”

Jain noted that Spectrum has been posting double-digit sales gains for the past couple of years, but with its executive team in place and a deep inventory of chemicals and laboratory supplies, the company is poised for even greater growth.

“We’re in a sweet spot,” he told Happi. “Now the personal care industry needs to know who we are and what we can do.
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