Ferro: agreement to sell fine chemical business

Ferro Corporation announced 3 October 2008 that it has signed an asset purchase agreement with Novolyte Technologies LP, an affiliate of Arsenal Capital Management LP, to sell its Fine Chemicals busin…

Ferro Corporation announced 3 October 2008 that it has signed an asset purchase agreement with Novolyte Technologies LP, an affiliate of Arsenal Capital Management LP, to sell its Fine Chemicals business for USD 66 million in cash. “This sale is consistent with our vision of focusing Ferro“s businesses around our core capabilities of particle engineering, formulation, color and glass science, and our deep understanding of customer applications”, said Ferro chairman, president and chief executive officer James F. Kirsch. “The decision to sell the business is a result of a regular review of our business portfolio. Fine Chemicals consists of a number of smaller businesses that do not effectively leverage the scale of Ferro“s core performance materials operations. I am confident that the Fine Chemicals business will continue to pursue many exciting opportunities under its new owners. At the same time, Ferro will benefit from additional liquidity and balance sheet flexibility as proceeds from the sale are used to reduce debt”. The Fine Chemicals business produces electrolytes used in the manufacture of lithium batteries, specialty solvents, and phosphines and also does contract manufacturing of fine chemicals. It recorded 2007 revenues of approximately USD 55 million and currently employs approximately 140 employees who will be transferred to Novolyte as a result of the sale. The business includes manufacturing facilities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Suzhou, China. The agreement is subject to normal closing conditions and the sale is expected to close in the 4Q 2008. KeyBanc Capital Markets served as Ferro“s financial advisor and investment banker for the transaction.