Albemarle Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to sell its polyolefin catalysts and components business to W. R. Grace & Co. in a cash transaction valued at approximately USD 416 million. The organometallics and curatives portions of the Performance Catalysts Solutions business will remain with Albemarle.
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., U.S.A., is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. W. R. Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials.
Rapid economic growth in emerging economies and increased technological innovation in consumer goods is increasing the demand for packaged goods, plastic films and building materials. In turn, this is driving demand for high-performance polyolefin plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene.
As part of the transaction, W. R. Grace will assume the lease and operations at the Product Development Center in Baton Rouge, La., U.S.A., and operations at the Yeosu, South Korea site. The sale is the latest in a series of changes that have reduced Albemarle’s presence in Baton Rouge, including the loss of its headquarters. W. R. Grace said about 175 employees at the two facilities will join its team.
“The sale of this portion of our Performance Catalysts Solutions business shows our continued commitment to portfolio management that is in the best interest of our shareholders and employees,” said Luke Kissam, Albemarle chairman, president and CEO.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.
BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Albemarle in connection with this transaction.