Skip to content
All posts

GracoRoberts Acquires Silmid to Significantly Expand Global Presence into UK and Europe and Become the Most Technically-Focused Aerospace Specialty Chemicals Distributor in the World

Transaction Disrupts Traditional Supply Chain with Proven Web-First Business Model

ARLINGTON, Texas, March 4, 2021GracoRoberts announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire UK-based Silmid to forge the largest aerospace-focused and specification-driven specialty chemicals distributor around the globe. The winning combination, including the December 2020 acquisition of Able Aerospace Adhesives, provides GracoRoberts with over 200 years of combined domestic and international aerospace expertise, most notably in the OEM, military and defense, and MRO markets. It offers the global aerospace community a larger portfolio of products and operational efficiencies in more warehouse locations, a streamlined customer experience through a standards-setting online distribution channel, and value-added services -- all in support of the evolving needs of its customer and supplier partners.

Silmid’s differentiation is in providing on-demand access to tens of thousands of aerospace specialty chemicals globally through its ecommerce platform. The website provides a scalable and repeatable business model that will offer new procurement opportunities and a simple and fast buying experience for GracoRoberts’ customers. This web-centric approach to distribution, coupled with a 24,000 square foot UK warehouse and world-class quality system, offers the companies’ combined supplier partners greater access to more distribution outlets and buyers in every country around the world.

GR and SIMLID infographic

“We are thrilled to have Andy Nickson and the Silmid team join us in becoming a global and digital leader in aerospace specialty chemicals distribution,” said Jason Caldwell, President and CEO of GracoRoberts. “Together we bring more solutions, expertise and innovation to the global aerospace community than either of us can do alone. Offering this next-level value to our customers and suppliers and innovating a traditional brick and mortar specialty chemicals distribution model is truly game changing, and we are excited about what we will achieve together.”

Andy Nickson, Operations Director of Silmid, also commented on the integration, and his reasoning behind choosing to partner with GracoRoberts. “The Silmid vision is founded on a philosophy of Silmid First – being the go-to destination and leading source for products and information. Once we’ve earned the customer’s trust with a purchase, it is our responsibility to deliver on time and without error. That belief system and operational excellence is fully aligned with GracoRoberts, which is what makes this partnership such a natural fit, and we are honored to join the GracoRoberts team.”

With nearly 30 years of experience providing growth capital to the aerospace, defense and federal services sectors, CM Equity Partners, the private equity sponsor of GracoRoberts, has supported the acquisition, continuing GracoRoberts’ strong track record of growth and enabling GracoRoberts to better serve its customers and suppliers.

With approximately 200 combined employees, GracoRoberts and Silmid will continue to operate independently from each company’s corporate headquarters in Arlington, TX, and West Midlands, United Kingdom. Until the integration is complete, both groups’ customers and suppliers can expect business as usual.

About GracoRoberts
Headquartered in Arlington, TX, GracoRoberts ( is the single largest and most technically focused specialty chemicals distributor to serve the North American aerospace market. We are a full-service supplier of complex engineered materials for aerospace OEM and MRO segments, composites, electronics, and other advanced manufacturing industries. We are fully AS- and ISO-certified and authorized to distribute 3M, Airtech, Akzo Nobel, Castrol, Eastman, Henkel, Hexcel, Huntsman, ITW Polymers, Mask-Off, Momentive, Resin Formulators, Scott Bader, Sika, and Zip Chem, and can source other providers upon request. We differentiate by adding value: services include distribution, custom formulation, specialty packaging, vendor managed inventory, intermix paint services, turnkey classified program management, and an on-staff Chemist, lab, and testing facility. For 140 years, GracoRoberts has delivered superior engineered materials with impeccable support to thousands of customers from more than 65 countries and all seven continents around the globe.

About Silmid
Headquartered in Coleshill near Birmingham, UK, Silmid ( is a specialist distributor of chemical consumables used throughout aerospace and aviation, supplying customers in over 100 countries for 40 years. Founded in 1980 as a GE Silicones distributor, Silmid supports customers in the aerospace OEM, MRO, airline, helicopter, general aviation, and defense segments. Silmid is a long-time partner of key suppliers including PPG Aerospace, Shell Aviation, and 3M Aerospace, and can source from over 400 vendors to supply customer requirements. Silmid’s key value proposition is the on-demand supply of small volume orders primarily via its full service B2B ecommerce website, combined with a range of value-added services including inventory management, product repackaging and the packing and shipping of hazardous materials.

About CM Equity Partners
CM Equity Partners (CMEP) (, based in New York, NY, provides capital to the Federal services and aerospace and defense industries.  For nearly thirty years, CMEP has partnered with management teams to build value in its investment companies by leveraging its long-standing industry knowledge, relationships, operating experience, and its corporate finance, M&A, and private equity expertise.  CMEP provides an active and collaborative management approach to its investments, developing long-term strategic plans and supporting re-investment of profits to grow and broaden a company's revenue base and capabilities. CMEP’s investments are structured with flexibility across a broad spectrum of the capital structure, including equity, structured equity, and mezzanine debt.