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Albemarle has reached a deal to sell it fine chemistry services business to W.R. Grace & Co. for $570 million. In 2018, the company Albemarle sold its polyolefin catalysts and components business to W.R. Grace & Co. in a transaction move that affects 150 employees at Albemarle’s Process Development Center on Gulf States Road.

Albemarle has reached a deal to sell its fine chemistry services business, including operations in Pennsylvania and Michigan, to W.R. Grace & Co. for $570 million.

The deal comes more than two years after Grace purchased Albemarle’s polyolefin catalysts and components business for about $416 million in 2018. As part of that deal, Grace assumed the lease and operations of Albemarle's product development center in Baton Rouge and a site in South Korea. Albemarle is based in North Carolina, but previously had its administrative offices in Baton Rouge. 

Maryland-based Grace said its latest deal with Albemarle will strengthen and expand its pharmaceutical portfolio, by adding a comprehensive roster of high-value products and services with complementary analytical, regulatory and manufacturing capabilities. Grace’s current pharmaceutical portfolio focuses on chromatographic resins, drug delivery and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Hudson La Force, Grace’s president and chief executive officer, said the acquisition fits in with the company’s strategy of expanding into higher-growth, high-value end market.

The deal, set to close in the second quarter, involves Grace paying $300 million in cash at closing to Albemarle and $270 million in a nonparticipating preferred equity of a newly created Grace subsidiary. Grace will take over Albemarle operations in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and South Haven, Michigan.

The deal is expected to add about $60 million in full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.


Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.