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W.R. Grace to acquire BASF's global polyolefin catalysts business

April 22, 2016
Chemical Value Chain

BASF announced on Friday that it signed an agreement to sell its global polyolefin catalysts business to W.R. Grace. BASF and Grace intend to complete the transaction in the third quarter of 2016.

The targeted transaction includes technologies, patents, trademarks and the transfer of BASF’s production plants at Pasadena, TX, and Tarragona, Spain. Approximately 170 BASF employees globally will also transfer to Grace. The planned divestment remains subject to the required consultation with employee representatives and certain regulatory approvals. Financial details were not disclosed.

Grace is a major supplier of polyolefin catalysts technology, as well as polypropylene (PP) process technology. It says it has the broadest portfolio of polyolefin catalyst technologies of any independent catalysts producer. BASF’s polyolefin catalysts business includes high-activity polyethylene catalyst technologies that are used in slurry processes for the production of high-density polyethylene resins such as bimodal film and pipe. BASF’s PP catalysts used in most major PP process technology, as well, including slurry, bulk loop, stirred gas, fluid gas, and stirred bulk.

“This is an important addition to Grace’s strong portfolio of polyolefin catalysts technologies,” said Grace chairman and CEO Fred Festa. In 2013, Grace bought Dow’s PP licensing and catalysts business for $500 million.

“With this divestiture, we will continue to sharpen our focus on key growth areas, including our chemical catalysts and refinery catalysts businesses,” says Kenneth Lane, president/catalysts division at BASF.. Grace Matthews (Milwaukee) advised BASF on this transaction. BASF quite manufacutring polyolefins several years ago.

BASF’s catalysts division – which includes a number of other products – generated about €6.31 billion in sales during 2015.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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