W. R. Grace & Co. today 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 optimized Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polyethylene 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 Chief Executive Officer 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 polyethylene 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.
BASF will build a commercial scale battery recycling black mass plant in Schwarzheide, Germany. This investment strengthens BASF’s cathode active materials (CAM) production and recycling hub in Schwarzheide. The site is an ideal location for the build-up of battery recycling activities given the presence of many EV car manufacturers and cell producers in Central Europe.
Clariant says it is reducing its number of businesses from five to three, by merging units, under a reorganization that is in line with the company’s purpose-led strategy and cultural transformation. The moves will position Clariant for long-term sustainable growth, the company says.
Chemicals & plastics industry has the most diversified end-use market across all manufacturing industries. The industry returned to growth in 2021 but a supply chain crunch prevented it from becoming stronger. The market is likely to stabilize in the second half of 2022 with a supply-demand balance.