WR Grace acquires China catalysts firm Noblestar

WR Grace on Thursday completed its acquisition of the assets of Noblestar Catalysts, a Qingdao, China-based manufacturer of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts, catalyst intermediates and related products used in the petroleum refining industry.

The agreement was first announced in late May.

“We welcome foreign investment, especially from companies like Grace, which has world-class, leading technologies that can help develop our fast-growing petrochemical industry while also acknowledging environmental and safety concerns," said Cong Yan, vice director general for the Qingdao Bureau of Commerce.

Yan spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the deal.

“The successful acquisition of Noblestar’s assets in Qingdao is another milestone in Grace’s long relationship with China," said Grace CEO Fred Festa. 

"And it is an important step in our strategy to provide world-class products and support to the petroleum refining industry. Our goal is for customers to look to Grace for innovative technology and industry-leading technical service, as well as a globally integrated manufacturing network that aligns with the world’s demand.”

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

“We have been happy and proud to be a business partner of Grace’s refining technologies business for years and we are excited to continue a business relationship with Grace in the future," said Chao Cui, CEO of Noblestar Catalysts.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Grace first established a presence in China when it founded Grace China Ltd. in 1986 as the first wholly foreign-owned company to do business in the the country. Business was done through the company's can sealants plant in Shanghai.

Grace currently operates five manufacturing facilities, three sales offices and two technical service centers in mainland China, including its Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Shanghai.

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