NYSE-listed chemicals producer Albemarle Corp. is to sell
its mineral flame retardants and speciality chemicals
businesses to rival Huber Engineered Materials (HEM).
Following the signing of a definitive agreement between the
two companies in mid-December, HEM, a subsidiary of the
privately-owned JM Huber Corp., will take control of
Albermarle’s Martinswerk GmbH flame retardants
subsidiary in Bergheim, Germany and its 50% stake in MAGNIFIN
Magnesiaprodukte GmbH, a joint venture with RHI AG based in
Breitenau, Austria, which produces magnesium
When the deal closes, expected in early 2016, HEM will own
the Martinal precipitated and ground alumina trihydrate and
Magnifin premium precipitated magnesium hydroxide brands, along
with a number of speciality chemicals products, including
Martifin specialty hydrates for paper, Martoxid aluminum oxide
primarily for ceramics, Pergopak flatting agents primarily for
coatings and Compalox granulated activated alumina.
Albemarle previously indicated its intention to hone the
scope of its business interests to focus on its bromine,
lithium, catalysts and surface treatment businesses.
"We continue to execute our plan to sell non-strategic
businesses and assets which will allow Albemarle to enhance our
focus on growth opportunities within our core businesses," said
Albemarle’s CEO, Luke Kissam.
In November it sold its Tribotecc metal sulphides business
to Treibacher Industrie AG.
HEM, meanwhile, said that acquiring the new product lines
will complement its existing portfolio of fire retardants and
smoke suppressants while expanding its geographic reach.
The acquisition is the fourth and largest addition to
HEM’s fire retardant additive business over the
past five years.
Earlier this year, it bought the Safire nitrogen and
phosphorous flame retardant technology from Floridienne Group
and Catena Additives. In 2012, it purchased
Almatis’ speciality hydrate flame retardant
business and in 2010, it acquired Sherwin
Williams’ Kemgard flame retardant and smoke
HEM produces alumina trihydrate, magnesium hydroxide,
molybdate compounds and nitrogen and phosphorus products for a
number of applications, including reinforced polyester molding
and pultrusion, engineering thermoplastics, roofing, silicone
rubber, wire and cable, coatings and carpet backing.
It has been in the flame retardants and smoke suppressants
business for 30 years.
The deal will close in early 2016, subject to standard
conditions. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is acting as
exclusive financial advisor to Albermarle on the