Croda Names National Express’ Maiden as Finance Director

Croda International Plc, the world’s second-largest maker of cosmetic-ingredients, said Jez Maiden will join the company as finance director from National Express Group Plc, where he held the same role.

Maiden, who will replace Sean Christie when he steps down in 2015 after nine years in the role, previously worked at plastics and agrochemical makers British Vita Plc and Hickson International Plc before joining the bus and train operator, Snaith, England-based Croda said in a statement today.

Maiden “has had extensive experience working across the speciality chemical sector,” Chairman Martin Flower said in the statement. “He will be a valuable addition to our senior team.”

The National Express executive joins the maker of active ingredients for L’Oreal SA sunblock at a critical moment. Chief Executive Officer Steve Foots is seeking to ride-out a slowdown in new product launches at some makers of moisturizers and other personal-care products that’s dented Croda’s growth trajectory and challenged its strategy of moving away from bulk additives to more valuable active ingredients.

Shares of Croda dropped to a 2 1/2 year low on Oct. 1, in a decline that has reinvigorated takeover speculation as large chemical companies look to expand in markets that are closer to the consumer and more resilient to economic downturns.

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