Albemarle will be exiting the phosphorous flame retardants business, with initial plans to cease operations at its Avonmouth, UK and Nanjing, China sites, saying the move reflects the need to address underperforming assets. "It has become clear that our current phosphorus business and product lines are not strategically aligned with Vision 2015's growth plans," Luke Kissam, Albemarle CEO, said in a release. As the electronics industry worked to remove brominated or halogenated flame retardants from its products, some pointed to phosphorous-based flame retardants as a replacement in items like enclosures and circuit boards.
Albemarle said the move will have a cash cost of $5 to $15 million, with payback expected in approximately one year. It will also incur a one-time after-tax accounting charge, ranging from $80 to $95 million in the second quarter 2012. Once these actions and a restructuring program to eliminate costs allocated to the phosphorus business are completed, Albemarle is forecasting that annual earnings per share should improve by $0.10 to $0.15 per share in 2013....