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Grace to acquire Polyolefin Catalysts business

W. R. Grace & Co. has recently signed an agreement to acquire the Polyolefin Catalysts business of Albemarle Corporation for $416 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The Polyolefin Catalysts business is a global leader in proprietary and custom-manufactured single-site catalysts as well as metallocenes and activators. The acquisition also includes a comprehensive series of highly optimised Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polyethene production.

The acquisition significantly strengthens Grace’s catalysts technology portfolio, commercial relationships, and manufacturing network. Approximately 175 employees will join Grace’s global team. The two manufacturing operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Yeosu, South Korea add important flexibility to the company’s global catalysts manufacturing network, enhancing Grace’s ability to meet customer needs across multiple regions.

“This transaction aligns perfectly with our strategy to expand our leadership position in polyolefin catalysts,” said Grace Chairman and CEO Fred Festa. “I am excited about the opportunities created by adding the talent, advanced technology, and manufacturing capabilities of the business. Both the catalysts and activators product lines are tied to high-growth applications and the manufacturing assets bring important scale and capital synergies. Grace expects to finance the transaction with a combination of debt and cash.

A leader in polyolefin catalysts and licensing, Grace has the world’s broadest portfolio of polypropylene and polyethene catalyst technologies used to produce thermoplastic resins for a variety of applications. A leading innovator and strategic partner to its customers, Grace supplies catalyst solutions for all polyolefin processes, as well as polypropylene process technology and process controls.