Lubrizol Absorbs Competitors Products


Lubrizol Corp. on Feb. 7 agreed to purchase a broad line of metalworking additives from Gibsonia, Pa.-based Lockhart Chemical Co., a longtime competitor. Terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

Lubrizol acquired Lockharts entire metalworking product line, which includes natural, synthetic and gelled sulfonates; emulsifier packages; corrosion inhibitors; lubricity agents; grease additives; oxidates; esters; soaps; semi-finished coatings; and rust preventives. The products see use worldwide. In 2006, the lines purchased had annualized revenues of about $20 million.

Lubrizol spokeswoman Gail Norris told Lube Report that the company believes the acquisition provides additional growth opportunities for Lubrizol in Asia Pacific.

Norris said Lockharts products enhance Lubrizols existing product line with complementary products, specifically the Lockguard line of corrosion inhibitors and rust preventatives, and the Locksol line of emulsifiers and packages. Lockhart is recognized and respected in the metalworking industry for its application and formulation capabilities and its cost-effective, quality products, she said.

Thomas Gillespie Jr., chairman and CEO of Lockhart Chemical, told Lube Report the two companies are very familiar with each other. Weve been direct competitors for a long time, Gillespie said. Everybody knew everybody. Some of their key employees used to work for us.

Gillespie explained that much of Lockharts line of metalworking additives mirrored those of Lubrizol. Im not sure of the exact percentage, but probably 80 percent of our product line mirrored theirs, he explained. Thats really what they were looking to do – add to their product line.

He said Lockhart has sold much of its products through agents. Its a pretty widespread area around the world, Gillespie said. Basically, probably a third of our sales were international. In terms of industries, they run from large oil companies to small people just doing blending for smaller metalworking shops.

He said that during a transition period, Lockhart will continue to make the metalworking additives line at its Flint, Mich., plant and work with Lubrizol to see that the transition will be smooth for all customers. The manufacturing will then be transitioned to their Painesville, Ohio, plant, he said. Lubrizol, based in Wickliffe, Ohio, said in a statement the transition period will last several months.

According to Gillespie, Lockhart will continue to operatethe Flint plant as Lockhart Chemical after the transition period. Well obviously change the product line, and what were going to do in the long run, he said. Were working forward on that. He declined to comment on whether the change will impact Lockhart employees.

This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for Lubrizol. It supports the growth of the Lubrizol Additives segments industrial additives business, said Steve Kirk, president of Lubrizol Additives. It will also provide Lubrizol opportunities to take advantage of synergies among our product lines, manufacturing facilities and our technical and commercial infrastructure.

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