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Albemarle (ALB) Cuts Flame Retardant Supply Pact with ICL

Chemical maker AlbemarleALB has inked a long-term deal with leading specialty chemicals maker, Israel Chemicals Ltd. ICL for the supply of sustainable polymeric flame retardants. Financial terms of the agreement were not divulged.

The next-generation polymeric flame retardant has been produced at ICL's plants in the Netherlands and Israel leveraging technology licensed from Dow Global Technologies LLC, a unit of Dow Chemical DOW . This product is being marketed by Albemarle under the brand name "GreenCrest" and by ICL under the "FRArray22P" moniker.

The polymeric flame retardant is a sustainable and reliable alternative for customers switching from hexabromocyclododecane ("HBCD")-based flame retardants currently used by the building industry in extruded polystyrene ("XPS") and expanded polystyrene ("EPS") foam insulation products.

Under the deal, Albemarle will supply bromine to ICL for making GreenCrest. The deal is subject to certain conditions, including clearance of Israel's Antitrust Authority. Both companies will continue to offer independent marketing, sales and technical service to their customers in Europe and globally, to ensure a smooth transition as producers of XPS and EPS keep shifting to polymeric flame retardants from HBCD.

Albemarle's shares rose around Array.2% to close at $53.3Array on Feb 24.

Louisiana-based Albemarle is a premier specialty chemicals company with leading positions in attractive end markets globally. The company is selling non-core businesses and assets to boost growth opportunities and focus on its key businesses.

Albemarle, earlier this month, wrapped up the sale of its Mineral Flame Retardants and Specialty Chemicals businesses to Huber Engineered Materials - a division of leading global manufacturer of flame retardant additives, J.M. Huber Corporation.

Last month, Albemarle also completed the divestiture of its Tribotecc metal sulfides business to Treibacher Industrie AG, a leading player in the chemistry and metallurgy sectors. The divestment advances Albemarle's strategic plan of focusing on its core bromine, lithium, catalysts and surface treatment businesses.

Albemarle currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

A better-ranked company in the chemical space is Asahi Kasei Corporation AHKSY , sporting a Zacks Rank #Array (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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