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OM Group's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Third, VAC was immediately accretive to earnings. It has performed well during the five months that we have owned them and is exceeding our expectations. This new business improves the profitability profile of our entire organization, with higher and more sustainable earnings. Finally, VAC brings abundant growth opportunities for both organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions. For example, we are growing this year in the automotive sector as past investment in product development is paying off. Also, VAC competes in some fragmented spaces and there are multiple acquisition opportunities. While VAC was certainly the biggest acquisition we have made since I joined the company, it was not the only one.

In December, we acquired Rahu Catalytics, a developer of specialty additives for coatings and composite applications. This acquisition adds to our product development pipeline, by providing us with the technology behind our cobalt replacement additives. We call this family of products Borchi OXY-Coat. This is critical for the long-term strategy of Specialty Chemicals, providing a clear path for growth and margin improvement while providing our customers with equal and friendly solutions. While we made significant investments this year, we did not compromise the strength and flexibility of our balance sheet. In fact, we have enhanced our balance sheet and created the capital structure to provide additional options in funding future growth opportunities.

One other highlight before you turn the slide, worthy of mentioning is the additional expertise that we added to our Board of Directors in 2011. The addition of Pat Mullin from Ohio and Hans-Georg Betz from Europe brings world-class expertise in global finance, alternative energy technology and commercialization along with global supply chain experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

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