Chemtura Will Sell Oleochemicals Business | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: January 29, 2008

Chemtura Will Sell Oleochemicals Business

Sale to PMC Group continues restructuring at specialty chemical firm
Department: Business
Credit: Chemtura Photo
Credit: Chemtura Photo

In another step of a restructuring that has been nearly constant over the past year, Chemtura has agreed to sell its oleochemicals business to PMC Group North America for an undisclosed sum.

The Chemtura business had sales last year of about $175 million. It employs 260 people at a plant in Memphis, and produces fatty acids, fatty esters, glycerin, glycerol esters, and other chemicals derived from fats and oils.

Robert L. Wood, Chemtura's chief executive officer, says the sale will enable the company to focus on and improve the company's polymer additives business. Since the beginning of 2007, Chemtura has divested businesses in optical monomers, organic peroxides, and ethylene-propylene rubber. It also restructured its antioxidants business in Europe and announced a general restructuring that eliminated 620 jobs.

Then in December, Chemtura announced it had hired Merrill Lynch to help it assess its strategic options, which could include a sale of the entire company.

PMC says it expects to close the purchase of the Chemtura business later this quarter. Founded in 1994 by P. M. Chakrabarti, a former chief of technology at PPG Industries, PMC is a private company based in Mount Laurel, N.J., that operates plants in the U.S., Canada, France, and India.

Commenting on the transaction, Chakrabarti says chemicals and materials based on renewable feedstocks "will create a sustainable platform for new and exciting products."

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