Technology firm W. R. Grace & Co. is paying $416 million for the polyolefin catalysts business of Albemarle Corp.
It's the second major polyolefin catalysts deal in less than two years for Columbia, Md.-based Grace. In April 2016 it acquired a similar business from BASF SE for an undisclosed price.
In a Dec. 14 news release, Grace officials said that the business being acquired 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 optimized Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polyethylene production, they added.
The deal includes 175 employees and manufacturing sites in Baton Rouge, La., and Yeosu, South Korea. Officials said those sites “will add important flexibility” to the company's global catalysts manufacturing network.
Grace Chairman and CEO Fred Festa said in the release that the transaction “aligns perfectly with our strategy to expand our leadership position in polyolefin catalysts.”
Grace expects to finance the transaction with a combination of debt and cash. The firm claims to have the world's broadest portfolio of PE and polypropylene catalyst technologies used to produce resins for a variety of applications.
Publicly held Grace is a global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials. The firm employs 3,700 worldwide and has annual sales of $1.6 billion.
Albemarle is a global specialty chemicals firm based in Charlotte, N.C. The firm employs 6,900 and has annual sales of $2.7 billion.