Buying alumina

Rhodia has signed an asset purchase agreement with US-based W.R. Grace for their Washcoat alumina business.

Aluminas are an important component in automotive catalytic converters, and complement Rhodia’s Rare Earth product range for automotive emission control systems.

This acquisition will strengthen the Group’s position as a key supplier to this fast growing market. The purchase price of the acquisition is about €15m.

The alumina activity with net sales of around €20m, has a production facility located in Ohio, USA, and a dedicated R&D laboratory in Maryland. The business has a world-wide market share of almost 25%.

Given the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under which Grace is operating, the transaction is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court in the US. Nevertheless, the deal is expected to be sealed within the next few months.