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Albemarle Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection


ISIN: US0126531013 , WKN: 890167

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Description of the company

Albemarle Corporation was incorporated in Virginia in 1993. Our principal executive offices are located at 4350 Congress Street, Suite 700, Charlotte, North Carolina 28209. Unless the context otherwise indicates, the terms “Albemarle,” “we,” “us,” “our” or “the Company” mean Albemarle Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries. On December 14, 2016, we completed the sale of the Chemetall® Surface Treatment business to BASF SE for cash proceeds of approximately $3.1 billion, net of purchase price adjustments. The Chemetall Surface Treatment business was acquired on January 12, 2015 as part of the acquisition of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (“Rockwood”). For additional information, see “Recent Acquisitions, Joint Ventures and Divestitures” beginning on page 9, and also Note 3, “Divestitures,” to our consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this report. On January 12, 2015 (the “Acquisition Closing Date”), we completed the acquisition (the “Merger”) of Rockwood pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) for a purchase price of approximately $5.7 billion. As a result, Rockwood became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albemarle. For additional information about the Merger, see “Recent Acquisitions, Joint Ventures and Divestitures” beginning on page 9, and also Note 2, “Acquisitions,” to our consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this report. We are a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals that meet customer needs across a diverse range of end markets. The end markets we serve include petroleum refining, consumer electronics, energy storage, construction, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food safety and custom chemistry services. We believe that our commercial and geographic diversity, technical expertise, innovative capability, flexible, low-cost global manufacturing base, experienced management team and strategic focus on our core base technologies will enable us to maintain leading market positions in those areas of the specialty chemicals industry in which we operate. We and our joint ventures currently operate 31 production and research and development (“R&D”) facilities, as well as a number of administrative and sales offices, around the world. As of December 31, 2016, we served approximately 3,000 customers in approximately 100 countries. Business Segments During 2016, we managed and reported our operations under three reportable segments: Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions. Each segment has a dedicated team of sales, research and development, process engineering, manufacturing and sourcing, and business strategy personnel and has full accountability for improving execution through greater asset and market focus, agility and responsiveness. Financial results and discussion about our segments included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are organized according to these categories except where noted. Lithium and Advanced Materials Segment As of December 31, 2016, our Lithium and Advanced Materials segment consisted of two product categories: Lithium and Performance Catalyst Solutions. Lithium. Our Lithium business develops advanced materials for a wide range of industries and end markets. Our Lithium business is a low-cost producer of one of the most diverse product portfolios of lithium derivatives in the industry. We develop and manufacture a broad range of basic lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and value-added lithium specialties and reagents, including butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride. Lithium is a key component in products and processes used in a variety of applications and industries, which include lithium batteries used in consumer electronics and automobiles, high performance greases, thermoplastic elastomers for car tires, rubber soles and plastic bottles, catalysts for chemical reactions, organic synthesis processes in the areas of steroid chemistry and vitamins, various life science applications, as well as intermediates in the pharmaceutical industry, among other applications. We also develop and manufacture cesium products for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and zirconium, barium and titanium products for various pyrotechnical applications, including airbag igniters. In addition to developing and supplying lithium compounds, we provide technical services, including the handling and use of reactive lithium products. We also offer our customers recycling services for lithium-containing by-products resulting from synthesis with organolithium products, lithium metal and other reagents. We plan to continue to focus on the development of new products and applications. Lithium—Customers Our most significant customers include Panasonic Corporation, Umicore S.A., Binova International Co. Ltd., Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Corning Inc., among others. Lithium—Competition The global lithium market consists of producers located in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and, to a lesser extent, Africa. We are a leading global provider of lithium compounds. Major competitors include FMC Corporation, Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A., SichuanTianqi Lithium, and Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium. In the metal-based specialty chemicals business, key competitors include Cabot Corporation and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. Competition in the global lithium market is based on product quality, product diversity, reliability of supply and customer service. Lithium—Raw Materials and Significant Supply Contracts We obtain lithium through solar evaporation of our ponds at the Salar de Atacama, in Chile, and in Silver Peak, Nevada. After we obtain the lithium brine from the Salar de Atacama, we process it into lithium carbonate and lithium chloride at a plant in nearby La Negra, Chile. The lithium brine from our Silver Peak site is processed into lithium carbonate at our plant in Silver Peak. Subsequently, in other locations in the United States (“U.S.”), Germany, France and Taiwan, we further process the materials into various derivatives, depending on the markets we serve. In addition, we have entered an agreement with Bolland Minera S.A. for the exclusive exploration and acquisition rights to a lithium resource in Antofalla, within the Catamarca Province of Argentina. If necessary, we can also obtain lithium from other sources.
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