21 January 2003 23:17 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Specialty chemicals producer Albemarle acquired the phenolic antioxidant business Tuesday of its former parent, Ethyl Corporation, for an undisclosed sum in a deal that allows Albemarle to enter the fuel and lubricant antioxidant market.
A spokesman for Albemarle told CNI the deal involves the transfer of no assets. Albemarle, which was created from Ethyl in 1994, has been making the products for Ethyl's phenolic antioxidant business at a plant in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Neither company would reveal annual sales figures for the business.
In a statement, Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Albemarle said the acquisition includes the family of antioxidants and blends used to extend the storage life and thermal stability of a broad range of fuel and lubricant products.
In addition, the deal includes patents and other intellectual property.
Richmond, Virginia-based Ethyl said in a statement its decision to sell follows an extensive strategic assessment of the company's businesses. That assessment determined the phenolic antioxidant business would not play a role in Ethyl's future focus.
Ethyl's senior vice president for strategy, Newton Perry, called the sale another step toward previously announced goals of debt reduction and a closer focus on core businesses.
The deal also includes a long-term supply agreement for Albemarle to continue serving Ethyl's internal phenolic antioxidant needs.
On the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Ethyl rose 4% to close at a price of $7.71, just below the 52-week high of $8.75 and well above the low of $2.70. Albemarle's shares closed at a price of $28.40, down 1.6% about midway between the 52-week high of $33 and the low of $22.50.
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