The sale signals the beginning of a new era for the Washington, D.C., firm, whose parent, ERLY Industries, has been in Chapter 11 since September 1998.
"We are delighted with this change in ownership," said Chemonics President Thuston Teele. "It gives us a strong and positive underpinning for our future growth."
As the firm's majority partner and stockholder, Spangler will serve as chairman of the board. Other board members and co-investors include Eyk Von Otterloo, a private investor based in Boston; Teele; and Chemonics Chief Financial Officer Ashraf Rizk. The sale is expected to close by March 30.
"International development is a lifelong interest of mine," Spangler said. "I am pleased to be able to participate in the ownership of one of its leading practitioners."
The purchase, estimated at $30 million, transfers all of Chemonics' assets, including staff and contracts, to the new owners. The firm will retain senior management and will continue to do business under the same name.
"The biggest change is that we will have, for the first time, a board with which we will have a very strong rapport," said Teele, "Equally important is that we will offer a stronger financial base from which to serve our clients and grow." Teele said that sales this fiscal year will increase to more than $90 million from fiscal year 1998 revenues of $58.2 million.
Spangler, a private investor, serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations involved in international development. He is vice chairman of Save the Children and a director of Africare, United World Colleges, and Population Action International.
In 1990, he was nominated by President George Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Africa Bureau. He was nominated and confirmed as the agency's associate administrator for operations in 1991 and served as acting administrator in late 1992.
Prior to his government service, Spangler was president and CEO of AZL Resources, Inc., an American Stock Exchange-listed energy and agricultural company headquartered in Arizona. In the 1960s, he lived and worked in Ghana and Uganda as an economic advisor to their governments under an MIT/Ford Foundation program.
Teele founded Chemonics International in 1975. The firm is a leading provider to emerging market countries of consulting services in such fields as environment, economic reform, privatization, municipal management, and agriculture. Its main clients are the U.S. Agency for International Development, World Bank, InterAmerican Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, U.S. Trade & Development Agency, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.