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Huber Expands FR Portfolio with Newest Acquisition

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Acquisition of Albemarle's mineral flame retardants business is Huber's fourth and largest such endeavor within five years.

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Atlanta-based Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) is acquiring the Martinswerk mineral flame retardant (FR) and specialty chemical businesses of Albemarle Corp., Baton Rouge, La., further expanding its geographical and global reach in halogen-free FR additives. Completion of the transaction is expected in early 2016.


The Martinswerk businesses will become part of HEM’s Fire Retardant Additives (FRA) business. It includes Martinal precipitated and ground alumina trihydrate (ATH) and Magnifin premium precipitated magnesium hydroxide (MHD)—product lines that complement Huber’s existing portfolio of halogen-free FRs and smoke suppressants for plastics. As part of the transaction, Huber will acquire a 50% share in Magnifin, a joint venture at Breitnau, Austria, which produces MHD. Within the last couple of years, Albemarle doubled capacity there to 44 million/lbs.


This will mark the fourth and largest addition to the FRA business. Earlier this year, Huber acquired the Safire nitrogen and phosphorous FR technology of Belgium’s Floridienne Group and its subsidiary Catena Additives. In 2012, the company bought the specialty hydrate FR business from Almatis, Bauxite, Ark., and in 2010, the Kemguard molybdate FR and smoke suppressant business from Cleveland-based Sherwin Williams.