Air Products Sells High-Purity Process Chemicals Line to KMG Chemicals
Electronics Focused on Value-Added Products Customers Demand
Air Products (NYSE:APD) has signed a definitive agreement to sell its high-purity process chemicals (HPPC) business to KMG Chemicals (NASDAQ: KMGB) of Houston, Tex. The business had sales of $87 million in the year ended September 30, 2007. The sale is part of the Electronics business’ portfolio management activities to provide customers with the high value products they demand.
Theagreement includes the sale of a production facility and warehouse in Pueblo, Colo. Subject to compliance with certain applicable regulatory requirements which should entail a period of approximately four weeks, Air Products will also enter into an agreement with KMG for the simultaneous sale of the assets of the HPPC business located in San Giuliano Milanese, Italy.
It is expected that all of the approximately 165 employees at the two locations will be employed by KMG (for Milan employees, subject to the above compliance). Air Products’ Dallas, Tex. facility, which manufactures some HPPC products, is a multi-purpose facility, producing other strategic products for the company’s Electronics business and will not be included in the sale.
“The sale of the HPPC business is an example of how we are managing our portfolio and simplifying our business. We’re aligning our portfolio to better focus on the products where we can provide the most value to our customers,” says Mike Hilton, senior vice president and general manager, Electronics and Performance Materials, Air Products.
“In an effort to focus on what matters most to our customers, Air Products decided the HPPC business no longer fit our electronic gases, chemicals and equipment portfolio. This divestiture marks the end of our restructuring of the Electronics business and leaves us in a stronger position as we continue to invest to serve our customers and grow our business worldwide,” said Corning Painter, vice president, Electronics, for Air Products. “It’s a testament to our team that we can make these kinds of adjustments, continue to focus on our customers, and be successful in the market place.”
“We are very impressed with the 165 employees who make up the HPPC business and plan to employ essentially all of them,” said Neal Butler, president and CEO of KMG Chemicals. “It will be a seamless transition for the customers.”
Air Products acquired the HPPC business as part of its purchase of the Electronic Chemicals business of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company in 2003. High-purity process chemicals are basic and custom-performance blends of acids and solvents used in the manufacture of semiconductors. Customers use the chemicals in their manufacturing process to etch and clean the wafer at each production layer. These chemicals remove unwanted residue at very specific rates. The typical application is in the form of chemical baths or spray on devices.
The sale between Air Products and KMG is expected to close on 31 December 2007 subject to regulatory approval.
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