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Rockwood sells business unit to German chemical giant in $635M deal

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Rockwood Holdings Inc., the largest producer of lithium products in the world, announced Sunday the sale of its clay additives unit in a $635 million sale.

The Princeton company's clay-based additives unit will become part of Altana AG, a specialty chemical company in Germany, in a transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter.

According to an announcement from Rockwood, the clay additives unit generated net sales of $191.4 million last year.

In a statement, Rockwood Chairman and CEO Seifi Ghasemi said the sale was part of the company's long-term strategy planning.

In its own release, Altana said the deal also includes the 340 employees working in the clay additives unit, along with production sites in Kentucky, Texas, the United Kingdom and Germany. The company said it plans to expand the business into Asia.

“The acquisition of Rockwood's rheology business is fully in line with our focus on true specialty chemicals and opens up new growth opportunities,” Altana CEO Matthias Wolfgruber said in prepared remarks.

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