Grace builds polyolefin catalyst tech with Synthetech acquisition


W. R. Grace & Co. (Columbia, MD) is buying Sythetech Inc. for $19.2 million, augmenting its capacity for specialty single-site and polypropylene (PP) catalysts. Synthetech, which is a manufacturer fine chemicals that specializes in organic synthesis, biocatalysis, and chiral technologies, also has some business in the pharmaceutical sector. Greg Poling, VP W. R. Grace & Co. and president of Grace Davison, said in a release that the acquisition gives the company immediate production capacity for specialty single-site and PP catalysts, "significantly enhanc[ing] our ability to supply our large global customers with these specialized catalysts", while eliminating the need for a grass-roots facility.

Synthetech's products will join Grace's line of PP and polyethylene (PE) catalysts, which include Polytrak, Sylopol, and Magnapore. Grace recently announced a multi-year agreement to supply PP catalysts to polyolefins giant Borealis AG. The previously announced expansion of Grace's PP catalyst manufacturing capacity at its Worms, Germany facility is expected to be in operation in mid-2011.
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