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W.R. Grace to acquire Noblestar Catalysts

1 June 2012

W.R. Grace & Co (Grace) has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all shares of Noblestar Catalysts.

As part of the agreement, Grace has formed a new wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) in China to complete the purchase.

"Grace is also planning to make additional investments at its Qingdao site in Shandong, China, for environmental, safety and manufacturing upgrades."

Noblestar manufactures fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts, catalyst intermediates and related products used in the petroleum refining industry.

Shawn Abrams, Grace's catalysts technologies president, said the acquisition provides the company with immediate, local manufacturing capacity to better serve its refining customers in China and North Asia.

"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," Abrams added.

Chao Cui, Noblestar Catalysts CEO and president, said with the closing of the deal, the company 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," Cui added.

The terms of the investment were not disclosed for the deal, which is subject to the satisfaction of other closing conditions.

Grace is also planning to make additional investments at its Qingdao site in Shandong, China, for environmental, safety and manufacturing upgrades.