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Albemarle to Acquire Controlling Stake in Antioxidant Joint Ventures in China

Published on 2007-07-11. Author : SpecialChem

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB - News) has completed definitive agreements with its Chinese partner to increase Albemarle's ownership from 25% to 75% in two joint ventures: Ningbo Jinhai Albemarle Chemical & Industry Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Jinhai Albemarle Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd. Both companies specialize in the manufacturing and marketing of polymer antioxidants and the associated intermediates. The proposed increase in ownership is subject to approval by the Chinese authorities.

This strategic acquisition will provide Albemarle deeper vertical integration in polymer antioxidants and intermediates. The Jinhai Albemarle joint ventures currently supply antioxidants to many Chinese petrochemical companies, and Albemarle will use its global presence to enhance exports from both joint venture plants to the growing regional and global plastics marketplace.

Albemarle President and CEO Mark C. Rohr commented, "Albemarle has seen steady growth in business with customers in China and the surrounding region since we began our Jinhai Albemarle joint ventures in 2000. This majority ownership position will solidify our growth and investment plan in China and provide a launching point for continued growth outside of China. As the domestic and regional demand for higher-quality, longer-lasting plastics continues to grow, we believe that our technological expertise, customer service and applications development will enhance our market position."

The acquisition of a majority stake in Jinhai Albemarle is the latest step in Albemarle's strategic growth plan for its business in China. In March 2007, Albemarle celebrated the grand opening of a new Technical Center and broke ground on a phosphorus flame retardant manufacturing plant, both at the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park. Albemarle also operates a polyolefin catalyst repackaging facility at Nanjing, and serves customers from sales and business offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Albemarle's ETHANOX® and ETHAPHOS™ polymer antioxidants help maintain the performance integrity and processing stability of polyolefin plastics, elastomers, adhesives and other materials. With a goal of being the "One Source for All Your Antioxidant Needs,"™ Albemarle has built a reputation for quality, reliability and exceptional customer technical service among its antioxidant customers worldwide.

Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly engineered specialty chemicals for petroleum and petrochemical processing; transportation and industrial products; consumer electronics; pharmaceuticals; agricultural products; and construction and packaging materials. The Company operates in three business segments, Polymer Additives, Catalysts and Fine Chemicals, and serves customers in approximately 100 countries.

ALBEMARLE, ETHANOX and ETHAPHOS are registered trademarks of Albemarle Corporation.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Albemarle Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Source: Albemarle Corporation


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