US-based company W R Grace is set to expand its pharma portfolio with the acquisition of Albemarle’ Fine Chemistry Services business (FCS) for about $570m.

As part of a definitive agreement signed by the companies, Grace will acquire Albemarle’s operations located in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and South Haven, Michigan.

The deal value includes $300m in cash to be paid at closing and the remaining $270m funded through the issuance to Albemarle of preferred equity of a newly created Grace subsidiary.

Grace expects that the acquisition will strengthen and expand its existing pharma portfolio, which is claimed to be the largest, fastest-growing and most profitable subsegment within its Materials Technologies business.

Albemarle’ FCS adds a comprehensive portfolio of high-value products and services to Grace’s existing pharma portfolio.

The pharma portfolio is focused on chromatographic resins, formulation excipients and drug delivery and pharmaceutical intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

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Grace president and CEO Hudson La Force said: “This acquisition is strategically and financially compelling and aligns perfectly with our strategy of building a higher growth portfolio by extending our existing capabilities into higher-growth, high-value end markets.

“Combining these businesses strengthens our innovation and manufacturing capabilities and gives us scale that will further strengthen our customer value proposition and drive meaningful financial results for our shareholders.

“FCS’ impressive talent, customer-focused culture, track record of innovation and commitment to operating excellence align well with the Grace Value Model.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions that include receipt of certain regulatory approvals and should conclude in the second quarter of this year.