US Albemarle to exit phosphorous flame retardants business

17 May 2012 14:08  [Source: ICIS news]

An exit signHOUSTON (ICIS)--Albemarle plans to exit its underperforming phosphorous flame retardants business, the US-based specialty chemicals producer said on Thursday.

Albemarle produces phosphorus flame retardants at sites in Avonmouth, UK, and Nanjing, China.

The company said that the proposal to exit the business and cease operations at Avonmouth is subject to consultation with employees, which has begun. The process to cease operations at Nanjing has also begun, it added.

Production at those sites would end upon completion of contracts with customers, the company said. It did not say how many employees will be affected.

Albemarle expects to take a one-time after-tax charge in the range of $80m-$95m (€63m-€75m) in the second quarter to account for severance costs and asset write-downs.

The phosphorus business and product lines are no longer strategically aligned with Albemarle’s growth plans, CEO Luke Kissam said.

"One of the fundamental drivers of Albemarle's future growth is our ability to manage our business portfolio and show discipline in addressing underperforming assets or product lines,” Kissam said.

"We recognise the impact a proposed closure would have on our employees, their families and the communities where they live, and we will strive to minimize this impact," he added.

($1 = €0.79)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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