MOSCOW (MRC) -- W.R. Grace CEO Hudson LaForce said the company is open to discussing a sale to private investment fund 40 North Management (New York, New York) “in the context of our ongoing review of strategic alternatives” in a letter sent to 40 North that was released in mid-January, 2021, reported Chemweek.
“Any transaction would need to be at a price level that reflects full value for Grace and its shareholders,” the letter adds.
40 North submitted an unsolicited USD4.3-billion, USD65/share, bid to acquire Grace earlier this month, which Grace said its board would review. The bid came after Grace rejected a USD60/share offer, also unsolicited, in November.
“Grace’s opportunities for continued growth and value creation are strong, particularly as our end markets recover from the disproportionate displacement resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” LaForce says in the letter. “As we disclosed when we announced our third quarter 2020 results, we have experienced a rapid recovery from the pandemic and expect fourth quarter 2020 sales and gross margin to approach pre-pandemic levels, with adjusted free cash flow nearing 2019 levels as well.”
The company is prepared to share “information that would support the full value of Grace” under confidentiality agreements with 40 North, LaForce adds.
As MRC informed previously, in April 2018, W. R. Grace & Co. completed the USD416 million acquisition of the Polyolefin Catalysts business of Albemarle Corporation.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 1,990,280 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 090,900 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.
A leader in polyolefin catalysts and licensing, W.R. Grace has the world’s broadest portfolio of polypropylene and polyethylene catalyst technologies used to produce thermoplastic resins for a variety of applications. A leading innovator and strategic partner to its customers, Grace supplies catalyst solutions for all polyolefin processes, as well as polypropylene process technology and process controls. Grace employs approximately 3,700 people in over 30 countries.