WR Grace buys Noblestar catalysts unit in China

W. R. Grace & Co. has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Noblestar Catalysts, a China-based manufacturer of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts.

Located in Qingdao, China, Noblestar also produces catalyst intermediates and related products used in the petroleum refining industry.

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

In order to complete the purchase, Grace established a new wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) in China.

“This acquisition provides Grace with immediate, local manufacturing capacity to better serve our refining customers within China and North Asia,” said Shawn Abrams, president of Grace Catalysts Technologies.

“Investing in China is a part of our overall refining technologies global strategy, which includes creating an integrated manufacturing network to align FCC capacity with demand growth.”

Grace said it expects to make additional investments at the Qingdao site for environmental, safety and manufacturing upgrades.

“This acquisition deal is a strategic disposition and repositioning of Noblestar,” said Chao Cui, CEO of Noblestar Catalysts.

“With the closing of the deal, Noblestar is able to focus its business on rare earth products. We have been happy and proud to be a business partner of Grace for years and are expecting to continue such a good relationship much longer as a supplier.”

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, but is subject to the satisfaction of other closing conditions.

Grace said it anticipates completing the deal as soon as regulatory clearances have been obtained.

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