Avkem Expands Refractory Product Line with Acquisition

Lenoir City, TN (August 22, 2017) – Avkem International, LLC, a leading supplier to the non-ferrous metals market, announced that they have completed the acquisition of E-Jay Thermo Products, a refractory company specialized in thermocouples, protection tubes, and laminate refractory ladles, to enhance its molten metal handling product line.

The purchase of E-Jay Thermo Products further increases Avkem’s product offerings to the aluminum casting market. “The combination of E-Jay Thermo Products with our foundry supply line will provide our clients the proven laminated lades and thermocouples with the advantages of Avkem’s modern production and repeatable quality,” said Laurence Secrest, president of Avkem International. “The acquisition is also expected to result in greater efficiencies and significantly increase our market share,” added Secrest.

Avkem will use E-Jay’s existing technology and product knowledge and leverage Avkem’s production capacity to provide greater product availability to its customers. Avkem is in the process of assimilating the production into its 79,000 sq ft facility in Lenoir City, TN. “The integration of both companies will take place over the next 3-5 months. Our clients will continue to receive the same high-quality products, which they have come to expect, with accelerated lead times, and enhanced digital design” stated David Youngblood, CEO of Avkem.

About Avkem International, LLC
Avkem’s predecessor, Basic Resources, Inc., has been privately held since it was founded in 1992. Its mission is to support the metals industry with superior quality and unmatched service through long-term partnerships with its customers, suppliers, employees and community. Over the past 20 years, Basic Resources has leveraged its supply chain and customer service to provide optimal, economic solutions for its customers. For more information about Avkem International, visit its website at www.AvkemSolutions.com

For more information please contact:
Michele Dighello
3620 Industrial Park Dr
Lenoir City, TN 37771 USA
Phone: +1 (865) 690-8727
Fax: +1 (865) 690-8724

Avkem Executive Appointments Announced

Avkem executive appointments have been made to strategically position the company for future growth.

avkem-executive-presidentLaurence Secrest has been promoted to President of Avkem and will now have responsibility for oversight of Avkem’s global sales and marketing operations.  Mr. Secrest stated “I am enthusiastic about this role, and very excited about working with our sales team and exciting market, as we strategically position Avkem for solid growth in 2017 and beyond.” Mr. Secrest, who has been with Avkem since 2007, previously held the title of COO.  His 23-year career also includes serving as a consultant with The Recovery Group (now Deloitte CRG) and as Purchasing Manager for PPC Insulators.  Laurence is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.

avkem-executive-newRobert Sitterson has been promoted to Vice President of Operations and will now be responsible for managing the day to day tactical direction of Avkem’s manufacturing and supply chain operations in the United States and Mexico.  Mr. Sitterson added “I am excited about my new role within Avkem and look forward to continuing to grow and develop our operations to support our overall position as the leader in our markets.” Mr. Sitterson, who joined Avkem in 2010, previously held the title of Refractory Product Line Manager.  Prior to joining Avkem, he worked for Container Technologies, Intex Enterprises, and PPC Insulators in production, procurement, and business management roles.  Robert holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Tusculum College.

David Youngblood, CEO of Avkem, stated “We are excited about the promotions of both Laurence and Robert, and for the leadership they will provide in their respective areas.  Their combined 15 years of experience with our company will be a key enabler to our strategic direction and long-term growth plans.”


Avkem International, a leading supplier of processing chemicals and insulating consumables for the foundry industry, including flux, refractory insulation, and other molten metal processing supplies, has operations in both the United States and Mexico.  With roots dating back 25 years, our multinational company focuses on providing innovative, high-quality solutions for our customers.  Private equity firm Deer Creek Holdings, an investor in the company since 2015, has a longer-term investment horizon than most traditional private equity firms.

Avkem Increases Commitment to Mexico

Avkem is excited to announce a larger facility as we continue to support our strong growth in Mexico.  This new facility will more than double our manufacturing footprint, allowing improved logistics and manufacturing for cover flux, specialty flux production, and some refractory product line production.  It will also increase warehousing space to support continued growth in Mexico.  This facility also coincides with additional salespeople and a new operations manager in Mexico.

Laurence Secrest, COO, commented, “Our active presence in Mexico began back in 2008 with our first facility starting in 2010.  With the strong aluminum growth in Mexico, especially related to automotive, as well as the strong performance of our Mexico team, we anticipate double digit revenue growth in the coming years.  Already in 2016, we are projecting nearly 100% revenue growth over 2015.  This new facility reinforces Avkem’s desire and ability to invest where needed to support continued growth.”

In addition to the increased production and warehousing capabilities, the new facility will house the administrative support team for Avkem in Mexico.  The office space, warehousing, and production areas allow for flexibility and growth in the coming years.  This facility is also strategically located to support improved freight and logistics for the Northern Mexico customer base.

Avkem International Announces Recapitalization of Basic Resources, in Partnership with Deer Creek Holdings

Basic Resources, Inc. is now Avkem International. The new company is the result of a recapitalization transaction with Deer Creek Holdings, a private equity firm. This will allow non-active shareholders to generate liquidity for their personal estates and creates a strong foundation for continued growth and development of the company. David Youngblood, and Chief Operating Officer, Laurence Secrest, will continue in their roles and will have significant ownership in the new Company.

David Youngblood remarked that, “This begins an exciting new era for our employees, customers and suppliers. Our current shareholders have been great partners and stewards of the business since its founding in 1992. But as with any entrepreneur founded business, there comes a time when a transition can help a business reach the next level. To our founders’ credit, they have helped us find a unique partner that can support and enhance our plan for growth and development. Unlike most private equity firms that focus on four to five year investment period, Deer Creek offers the much longer term, patient investment philosophy of a family holding company. This philosophy fits perfectly with our company and employees. Our new company will also greatly benefit customers and suppliers. With this new partnership we will have the resources and tools to exceed the needs and expectations of our business partners.”

Commenting on the investment, Paul Wolf, Managing Director at Deer Creek stated, “We are very excited about our new relationship with David, Laurence and the entire team at Basic Resources. This company has all of the fundamental characteristics that we look for in a business: a history of strong growth, outstanding management, a leadership position in the markets it serves, and a reputation for quality. We look forward to supporting the company as it looks to expand further both organically and through acquisition. The new company name, Avkem International is intended to highlight the strengths and future growth of the Company as a premier advanced specialty chemical producer.”

Avkem leadership will also be augmented with the addition of Maurice Murphy as an Operating Partner and Chairman of Avkem’s Board of Directors. Mr. Murphy is an accomplished executive with extensive experience as Chief Executive of multiple international industrial businesses.