Polartech Acquisition Boosts Afton


Afton Chemical has acquired metalworking fluid additives supplier Polartech, including manufacturing sites in the key markets of India and China. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The agreement includes all of Polartechs physical assets, including its headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, as well as manufacturing sites in India, China and the United States. Afton, headquartered in Richmond, Va., will take on 130 full-time employees from Manchester, U.K.-based Polartech.

There are no plans at this time to close any of the Polartech sites, Aftons Brent Brennan, global industrial business manager, told Lube Report. Polartech will continue to operate as they do today while we integrate all the functions over the next few months. We believe Polartechs most important asset is its people, and we intend to grow the business by helping customers achieve their business goals.

Brennan said there is minimal overlap between the two companys additive offerings. He noted that Polartech is a leader in water-based lubricants, which requires specialized technology and know-how. For Afton as in independent player in the lubricant and fuel additive industry, we are very excited about this opportunity to expand the number of additive solutions we can offer to the metalworking industry, Brennan continued.

Warren Huang, Aftons president, emphasized that, as a result of the acquisition, we also now have a greater presence in targeted international markets – including India and China – where we see opportunities for growth.

In June 2008, Polartech completed its $20 million, 25,000 square meter metalworking fluids and additives manufacturing facility in Suzhou Industrial Park, in Suzhou, China. At the time, Polartech said its initial capacity would be 10,000 tons of additives per year, expandable to 30,000 tons.

In late 2006, Polartech India moved into a new additives manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, with capacity of up to 30,000 tons per year.

Polartech in early 2007 purchased the Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC facility in Bedford Park, Ill, including the Actrachem brand of specialty chemical additives. The facility had capacity to produce about 15,000 metric tons per year at the time of the acquisition, and gave Polartech its own metalworking additives manufacturing presence in the United States.

Aftons investments in recent years included acquisition of GEs fuel additives business; a new research and development facility in Shanghai, China; a new and expanded facility in Tsukuba, Japan; and a manufacturing facility in Singapore.

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