SI Group to acquire Albemarle's antioxidants and ibuprofen business

21:29 PM | April 16, 2014 | Vincent Valk

SI Group (Schenectady, NY) has agreed to acquire the antioxidant, ibuprofen and propofol businesses of Albemarle for an undisclosed amount of cash. The deal includes manufacturing sites in Organgeburg, SC  and Shanghai, as well as technical support services in Baton Rouge, LA and Shanghai. The deal is expected to close later this year. SI Group, a leading producer of phenolic resins, alkylphenolic resins, and alkylated phenols, will gain 500 employees as part of the deal. 

While Albemarle does not disclose revenues for the antioxidants, ibuprofen and propofol businesses, the antioxidants business was included in the company’s stabilizers and curatives division. That division recorded about $240 million in sales during 2013, according to regulatory filings. The division, previously a part of Albemarle’s polymer solutions segment, was moved into the company’s catalysts segment on 1 January as part of a reorganization announced last year.

The ibuprofen and propofol businesses are part of Albemarle’s $290-million fine chemistry services business, within the company’s performance chemicals segment. Prior to 1 January, the division was part of the fine chemistry segment. Ibuprofen, a common painkiller and fever reducer, is Albemarle’s “most significant bulk active,” according to regulatory filings. The company is among the largest global producers of ibuprofen, the filings add. Propofol, meanwhile, is a sedative, often used in general anesthesia.

The deal is “the largest in SI Group’s history,” says Frank Bozich, president and CEO of SI Group. "This acquisition is a natural fit to our expansion strategy, transforming SI Group into a solutions leader in the global antioxidant and pharmaceutical active ingredients markets." SI Group has more than 2,200 employees. 

"This transaction is the next step in our previously announced realignment and reflects our commitment to growing in a sustainable manner through increased focus on maximizing the value of and growing our core businesses. With this transaction, we are placing the antioxidants, ibuprofen and related businesses in the hands of a company with a long history and a proven record of successful integrations and growth,” says Albemarle president and CEO Luke Kissam.  BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to Albemarle on the deal.

Albemarle said in a separate first-quarter earnings release today that potential impairment charges related to the sale may be reported in first-quarter SEC filings and that the outcome of such analysis is pending completion.  The divestiture will “increase our overall margin rates and allow us to continue to focus more sharply on our core businesses,” Albemarle says. Albemarle reported first-quarter net income down 32.6% year-on-year (YOY), to $56.6 million, or 71 cts/share, due to charges related to pensions and retiree benefits.