Umicore to Buy Materia’s Metathesis Catalyst Arm

21.12.2017 -

Belgian materials technology and recycling group Umicore has agreed to acquire the metathesis catalyst business of Pasadena, California-based Materia Inc., valuing the assets at $27 million. Umicore said the acquisition will allow it to broaden its range of catalyst technologies, expand its homogeneous catalysts offering and gain access to an extended customer base.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2018.

Combining Materia’s metathesis portfolio with its own, the Belgian company said it will be able to provide customers with full access to proprietary, patent-protected cutting-edge technology. The combined businesses, he said, will continue to focus on innovation so that customers can develop their own more efficient syntheses and produce more  competitively and sustainably while keeping or extending leading positions in their own markets.

Pascal Reymondet, Umicore’s executive vice president Catalysis, said Materia’s catalyst business is highly “complementary” to his company’s own catalysis activities. The deal will marry the California firm’s technological expertise with the Belgian player’s s global, large-scale production capabilities and organization.

Materia regards itself as a leader in metathesis, a “unique” proprietary technology developed by 2005 Chemistry Nobel Prize laureate Professor Robert H. Grubbs. Seeing increasing use in the chemical industry, metathesis is designed to shorten the synthesis of complex pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals and polymers. The US company has a broad portfolio of customized metathesis catalysts and a strong position in the market.