W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) announced today that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Braskem to develop process technologies and catalyst solutions to produce green chemicals. The agreement is intended to advance the commercialization of a process to convert renewably sourced feedstocks into value-added products. Grace is a global supplier of innovative catalyst technologies with a leading position in the petroleum refining and polyolefin market segments. Braskem is the leading thermoplastics resin producer in the Americas, with a goal of becoming the world leader in sustainable chemistry by 2020. Details and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The use of renewable feedstocks is a growing trend in the global chemical industry. The technology under development in the Grace-Braskem collaboration is based on carbon sources from renewable agricultural processes that contribute to lower carbon emissions than traditional feedstocks. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work in cooperation with the world leader in green plastics,” said George Young, Vice President of New Business Development at Grace. “This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to become a leading supplier of catalysts to the renewable chemicals industry.” Braskem is a global leading producer of biopolymers and has announced plans to expand production of sugar-based bio-polyolefins. “We continue to innovate to meet market needs for more sustainable solutions,” said Edmundo Aires, Vice President of Corporate Innovation and Technology at Braskem. “We’re convinced this partnership will enable us to do this better.” About Grace Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts; engineered and packaging materials; and, specialty construction chemicals and building materials. The company’s three industry-leading business segments—Grace Catalysts Technologies, Grace Materials Technologies and Grace Construction Products—provide innovative products, technologies and services that enhance the quality of life. Grace employs approximately 6,000 people in over 40 countries and had 2011 net sales of $3.2 billion. More information about Grace is available at www.grace.com. About Braskem Braskem is the Americas’ top thermoplastic resins producer. With 35 industrial plants spread across Brazil, United States and Germany, the company produces over 35 billion pounds of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemicals per year. Braskem is the world’s leading biopolymers producer with its 440 million pound green polyethylene (PE) plant that produces polyethylene from sugarcane-based ethanol. More information about Braskem and its products is available at www.braskem.com. This announcement contains forward-looking statements, that is, information related to future, not past, events. Such statements generally include the words “believes,” “plans,” “intends,” “targets,” “will,” “expects,” “suggests,” “anticipates,” “outlook,” “continues” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, all statements regarding Grace’s Chapter 11 case; expected financial positions; results of operations; cash flows; financing plans; business strategy; budgets; capital and other expenditures; competitive positions; growth opportunities for existing products; benefits from new technology and cost reduction initiatives, plans and objectives; and markets for securities. For these statements, Grace claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Like other businesses, Grace is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from its projections or that could cause other forward-looking statements to prove incorrect. Factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: developments affecting Grace’s bankruptcy, proposed plan of reorganization and settlements with certain creditors, the cost and availability of raw materials (including rare earth) and energy, developments affecting Grace’s underfunded and unfunded pension obligations, risks related to foreign operations, especially in emerging regions, acquisitions and divestitures of assets and gains and losses from dispositions or impairments, the effectiveness of its research and development and growth investments, its legal and environmental proceedings, costs of compliance with environmental regulation and those factors set forth in Grace’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly report on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are readily available on the Internet at www.sec.gov. Reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on Grace’s projections and forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. Grace undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revision to the projections and forward-looking statements contained in this announcement, or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this announcement.
Jefferies analysts note that recent construction spending data indicates a cycle rotation away from construction-exposed names and toward industrial- and durable goods-levered firms could be playing out.