Maryland’s W.R. Grace to be acquired for $7 billion

Columbia, Maryland-based W.R. Grace, one of the oldest specialty chemical makers in the country, has agreed to be acquired by New York-based Standard Industries Holdings in a deal valued at $7 billion, including Grace’s pending acquisition of Albemarle Corp.’s fine chemistry services business.

Standard Industries’ all-cash acquisition of Grace is being made through its investment platform, 40 North Management LLC, one of Grace’s long-standing shareholders.

The $70 per share acquisition represents a 59% premium over Grace’s closing stock price on Nov. 6, 2020, the last trading day before 40 North’s initial proposal to acquire the company on Nov. 9.

Pending Grace shareholder and regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Grace will become a privately held company, and its stock will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Grace has more than 4,000 employees. Its history dates back to 1832, when a predecessor company was founded in Baltimore as a grinder of oyster shells. W.R. Grace was established in 1854 in Peru. It relocated its corporate headquarters to Maryland in 1999.

Standard Industries, founded in 1881, has more than 15,000 employees in 80 countries.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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