Lambent, Lubrizol Snap Up BASF Assets


Lambent Technologies has a new home and Lubrizol Corp. another new product line, both the result of a three-way sale by chemical company BASF.

The companies announced Monday that BASF has sold its Gurnee, Ill., specialty chemicals factory to Lambent, which will continue using the facility to produce plant-based esters, alkoxylates and silicones, mostly for surfactants. The plant will supply BASFs North American surfactant business under a toll manufacturing agreement. Lubrizol bought the silicones business, which will also be supplied out of Gurnee, at least for the time being.

Most of the materials produced at the suburban Chicago plant are used as emulsifiers and defoamers in metalworking fluids, food processing, pharmaceuticals or coatings.

Lambent, a subsidiary of Petroferm Inc., currently manufactures alkoxylates, esters and other synthesized plant-based molecules at its sole plant in nearby Skokie, Ill., but plans to move its headquarters and at least some production operations to Gurnee. The Gurnee plant is approximately three times as large as the one in Skokie.

Its a very nice plant and more automated than our existing facility, so this is a nice upgrade for us, Lambent Chief Financial Officer Joe Pfountz said. Well certainly move some of our existing production there and, eventually, maybe all of it.

Lubrizol acquired the Mazil and Mazu brands, accounts and manufacturing technology. The silicone products are used primarily as defoamers, sealants and in paints and coatings – generally not in lubricants. The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions for the Cleveland-based additive company over the past few years.

The addition of this business expands our foam control additive product line and customer base, and the acquisition adds a number of new silicone products to the Lubrizol portfolio for use in other markets beyond foam control, said Don Bogus, Lubrizol’s vice president, fluid technologies for industry.

Lubrizol plans eventually to move production of the silicones to its plant in Spartanburg, S.C., but first has to obtain customer approvals.

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