Albemarle to acquire Akzo Nobel’s catalyst business

Albemarle Corporation announced today that it expects to complete an agreement with Akzo Nobel to acquire its catalyst business for 625 million Euros in cash.

Albemarle Corporation announced today that it expects to complete an agreement with Akzo Nobel to acquire its catalyst business for 625 million Euros in cash, subject approval of regulatory authorities.

The acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2004.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Albemarle will be the world’s largest producer of hydroprocessing catalysts (HPC) and the second largest producer of fluidised catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts.

Fluid cracking catalysts help break down heavy crude oil into gasoline and other lighter products. The hydroprocessing catalysts Albemarle plans to acquire are used to upgrade fuel quality. Both product areas are critical to refinery efficiency and to new clean fuel requirements.

“The critical mass in catalysis represented by our proposed acquisition of the Akzo Nobel business provides a strong technology foundation, positioning us well for sustainable growth in the refinery market,” said Mark C. Rohr, president and chief executive officer of Albemarle.

“Refiners are increasingly challenged to provide higher quality fuels, the market is globalising, and we will have the technology and innovation capability to serve more than 750 refineries worldwide facing these issues,” added Rohr.