Canadian Plastics

W. R. Grace buying Albemarle’s polyolefin catalysts business

December 18, 2017   Canadian Plastics

In a bid to boost its catalysts technology portfolio and manufacturing network, Columbia, Maryland-based material supplier W. R. Grace & Co. is buying the polyolefin catalysts business of specialty chemical firm Albemarle Corp. for US$416 million.

In a statement, W. R. Grace 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.

Approximately 175 employees will join Grace’s global team. The two manufacturing operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Yeosu, South Korea are also included in the deal.

“This transaction aligns perfectly with our strategy to expand our leadership position in polyolefin catalysts,” said W. R. Grace chairman and CEO Fred Festa. “Both the catalysts and activators product lines are tied to high-growth applications and the manufacturing assets bring important scale and capital synergies.”


The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

Albemarle is based in Charlotte, N.C. The firm employs 6,900 and has annual sales of US$2.7 billion.

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