Steve Dawson Succeeds Sam Bastounas as CEO

Following two years successfully cementing Axieo’s position as a market leading supplier of products for life sciences, agriculture, performance plastics and specialty chemicals in ANZ, Axieo is pleased to confirm the appointment of Steve Dawson as its new CEO.  
Steve has more than 25 years’ international experience including his most recent position as President of Global Manufacturing at Incitec Pivot, a global player in the industrial chemicals sector. 
Announcing Steve’s appointment, Axieo’s Chairman Cameron Buchanan, said: “On behalf of the Board and all of the team at Axieo, I’d like to recognise Sam Bastounas for the integral role he has played in forming Axieo as a standalone company, and his service as the company’s inaugural CEO.
“Sam’s leadership, vison and industry knowledge have created a strong and nimble business that is well positioned for growth.
“We are pleased that Sam will remain with Axieo as Strategy Director and support the CEO and Board by evaluating strategic M&A targets and securing new agencies that deliver growth.
“I would also like to congratulate Steve Dawson on his appointment and welcome him to Axieo’s team. Steve brings outstanding operational and commercial leadership experience that will help strengthen Axieo’s base business, and instill excellence across all of our operations and processes.
“We are proud of the role that Axieo plays in serving a strong and sustainable manufacturing sector in Australia and New Zealand, and look forward to continuing to grow in partnership with our Principals and Customers”, Mr Buchanan said.  

50 Shades of Black to be Produced Outside Geelong

Axieo, the largest manufacturer of masterbatch in Australia and New Zealand, is the latest company to have invested in new facilities in Greater Geelong – a region that has been affectionately dubbed ‘Carbon Cluster HQ’.
In an Australian first, the new plant will be dedicated to manufacturing black carbon-based plastic pellets (or ‘masterbatch’) which contain specialist additives and are used in a range of applications worldwide. 
Jade Weiss, Chief Operating Officer at Axieo said: “Carbon is fundamental to the plastics industry and has far reaching, practical implications for material science. Axieo is a nimble and ambitious company that delivers masterbatch and carbon plastic products that engineers, manufacturers and farmers rely on. 

The Hon. John Eren MP & Jade Weiss (Axieo)
“We are pleased to be investing in the Geelong region at a time when many other companies are leaving the area, and to be located near organisations such as Deakin University, CSIRO, Carbon Nexus and others who share our interest in researching and developing plastic technologies.
“We are committed to ongoing innovation and to maintaining manufacturing and employment opportunities in the region. Our new facility will allow us to replace imports with local technology, provide a wide range of quality Australian-made masterbatches to local and international customers, and expand our R&D”, Weiss said.
The Hon. John Eren MP with Axieo Lara Staff

Axieo’s new expanded premises, which are on an 80,000sqm site, will replace Axieo’s plant in Geelong. All employees will relocate, and a small number of additional jobs have been created, with plans for growth. 
Black carbon plastic manufactured by Axieo’s team in Lara will be used in a range of specialty products such as:
• agricultural film that protects crops from the weather and increases productivity
• exterior cables and cable sheathing
• pipe used in agriculture and for major infrastructure such as mains water and gas supply
• mining tube applications and explosives storage  containers where exceptional static discharge properties are required
• water tanks, and
• recyclable plastic products, such as packaging. 


Axieo and Huntsman Pigments growing together

Axieo is pleased to announce that it has been appointed the exclusive distributor for Huntsman’s Titanium Dioxide portfolio across Australia and New Zealand, effective 16th January 2017.
Huntsman is one of the largest and most innovative producers of titanium dioxide in the World. TiO2 is a key functional ingredient that adds UV protection to paints and plastics and is also used in healthcare and beauty products to protect against the harmful effects of the sun.
This partnership further establishes Axieo’s long running partnership with Huntsman, building on the distribution of their Iron Oxides range through Axieo New Zealand. We are looking forward to building on our reputation for efficient and high quality service, and continuing our rich history of bringing world class products to our Australian and New Zealand customers.  


Axieo and Shin-Etsu are pleased to announce a new Partnership 

We are pleased to announce that we have finalised an agreement to be the exclusive partner for Shin-Etsu across Australia [Food] from 1st February and New Zealand [Food & Pharmaceutical] from 2nd January 2017.  

Shin-Etsu is one of the largest and most innovative cellulose derivative producers in the World.  Their products are key ingredients that perform unique functionality in a wide range of food and pharmaceutical applications.  

At Axieo we aim to connect our customers with global products, ideas, and innovation through our resale and distribution businesses, and our partnership with Shin-Etsu continues our rich history of bringing world class products to our Australian and New Zealand customers.


Axieo Compliant with GHS

We are pleased to announce that Axieo Australia has now formally adopted the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals which was developed and mandated by the United Nations ahead of the statutory deadline for GHS implementation in the majority of Australian jurisdictions. 

Axieo now labels its chemicals and supplies Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in accordance with the GHS system of classification and labelling of chemicals.  Though chemicals are not classified in the same manner for every jurisdiction, both the SDS and labels now provide our customers more internationally uniform information as to any chemical hazards delivered through the usage of pictograms and the associated precautionary information.

Should there be any questions about the GHS system of classification and labelling of the chemicals we supply our Customers, please contact your respective Axieo representative for further information.  


CPK & Axieo; mixology event

On the 22nd of June, together with our Principal Partner CP Kelco, Axieo's Food & Nutrition team hosted an afternoon of Cocktails & Canap├ęs. The event was for our major food & beverage customers and it was held at a high-end cocktail and degustation establishment called the Noble Experiment in inner Melbourne. The objective of the event was to demonstrate the functionality and versatility of the CP Kelco Hydrocolloids in both food and beverage applications, and to hopefully inspire some of our guests to create fantastic foods with a touch of flair and innovation.  

Many of the larger food & beverage companies attended our invitation-only event including Schweppes, Mondelez, Parmalat, Bulla, Murray Goulburn, Christian Hansen and Sensient. The creative menu was designed by the Noble team with the assistance of Axieo's Gihan Khalil and CP Kelco's KC Ng. The creative menu design team burnt the midnight oil on many occasions to come up with the pairing of the cocktails and canapes, with the result being some never before seen applications that wowed the audience.  

Our first mocktail, Sheldon's Pomegranate Soda, was a real hit. The pomegranate and passionfruit flavoured ice cubes made with CP Kelco's KELCOGEL® F gellan gum mesmerised the audience. How could an ice cube not dilute the drink and not completely dissolve? What was left after finishing the drink was a tasty fruit flavoured gel like substance that you could chew. This was paired with a Cheese Mousseline, which similarly amazed the crowd. It was made with 3 hard cheeses; Gruyere, Parmesan and Pecorino. Normally it would not be possible to achieve a mousse texture with hard cheese, however with the addition of CP Kelco's JD-S type carrageenan it was made possible.

Other drinks and dishes to delight the crowd were the Refined Whiskey Sour, that contained Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, clarified lemon syrup, carbonation and featured KELCOGEL® F gellan gum. This was paired with fresh Coffin Bay oysters with spicy pepper beads and coriander beads featuring KELCOGEL® F gellan gum & KELTROL® Advance Performance xanthan gum.

There were many other cocktail and canape pairings, too many to mention here. But possibly the favourite cocktail of the afternoon was El Chocolate Blanco Lopez, as seen below. It was served with dessert and was a mix of Grand Marnier, Tequila and lemon juice topped with white chocolate citrus foam, featuring KELTROL® Advance Performance xanthan gum. It was a real crowd pleaser. It was paired with a house made brioche dumpling of raspberry jam and strawberry coulis, featuring KELTROL® Advance Performance xanthan gum and GENU® pectin type LM-13 CG.

(L to R: El Chocolate Blanco Lopez Cocktail, The Noble Experiment, Andrew Sullivan (Axieo) and Amy Wong (CP Kelco), and Gihan Khalil (Axieo).

Feedback that our guests provided on the evening indicated they thoroughly enjoyed the event. Many commented on how much they learnt about hydrocolloids and enjoyed the informal and fun environment we had created. We hope to have inspired some genuine creativity with the companies that were present and as always the proof will be in the eating. 


Axieo to Acquire SST Australia

Axieo is delighted to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire SST Australia, a leading supplier of adjuvants and spray additives for the agricultural and horticultural industries in Australia and New Zealand.

Axieo’s CEO Sam Bastounas said: “This is a major strategic acquisition for Axieo. It provides us with proprietary IP that supplements our existing expertise in surfactants. It also complements our investment in technical innovation through Monash University’s Green Chemical Futures facility.

“SST has an outstanding reputation for personal service and for innovative spray application and adjuvant products that assist in the control of weeds, insects and fungal pests and promote the growth of crops and turf”, he said.

SST’s founder and current Managing Director John Illingworth said: “I’m pleased to find in Axieo a company that understands and values what is great about SST Australia, and has the ambition and capital to drive it further. I feel that I’m leaving our customers and the team we’ve built in excellent hands, and I look forward to following their progress in the coming years.”

Sam Bastounas said that the expanded and improved reach the combined companies offer means that Axieo is ideally placed to meet a broader range of needs across the agricultural and horticultural sectors in the region.

“Agriculture is an enduring industry in both Australia and New Zealand. The innovation and service we provide can help deliver improved efficiency and productivity to farms across Australia and New Zealand. At the same time, Axieo’s scale and financial strength mean we are well placed to expand SST across Australasia and into Asia.

“In the months ahead we will invest in upgraded manufacturing facilities that expand our capabilities further and we will rebrand SST Australia to SST Asia Pacific. “In the meantime, we congratulate Martyn Jones, a Business Director from our Specialties business who will take over as General Manager of the business, and Graeme Pearson who will assume the role of Technical Manager. SST’s founder John Illingworth will provide support to Martyn and the team, and SST’s team and agents will remain in place”, Mr Bastounas said.


Axieo to Acquire Quantum Chemicals

Axieo is delighted to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire Quantum Chemicals, a leading supplier of speciality and industrial chemicals and oils. Based in Melbourne, Quantum has operations across Australia including its own state of the art logistics infrastructure in Dandenong and has an excellent reputation for customer service.

Axieo’s CEO Sam Bastounas said: “Axieo is actively looking for strategic acquisitions with the potential to create value for our customers, supply partners, employees and shareholders and add scale and strength to our business.

“This acquisition gives us a bigger portfolio: new brands, products and expertise for us to take to existing and new customers.

“Quantum is a similar business to ours, and they provide us with relationships and expertise in four market segments that are new to us including water treatment, soil remediation, energy and utilities, and pulp and paper.

“Importantly, there is a strong cultural alignment between our companies. Quantum has similar values, they offer excellent products and they are committed to being nimble and customer-focussed”, he said.

“Ultimately we believe Quantum and Axieo will be stronger together and we look forward to welcoming them to Axieo from 1 March 2016”, he said.