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Grace to acquire Albermale’s polyolefin catalysts business

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

W. R. Grace & Co. has signed an agreement to acquire the polyolefin catalysts business of Albemarle Corp. for US$416 million.

The transaction is expected to close in 1Q18, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The acquisition includes a series of highly optimised Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polyethylene production.

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

Grace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fred Festa, said: “This transaction aligns perfectly with our strategy to expand our leadership position in polyolefin catalysts […] 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.

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