Large companies involved in processing and manufacturing often have several components to their business and supply chain that make it a successful and profitable business. It can be helpful to think of each component of these businesses -- often located in several locations -- as their own miniature business inside the larger frame. One such company sold one of their components that is headquartered in Baton Rouge to a Maryland-based company for over $400 million.
Determining a company's motivation to sell is not always easy, however, Albemarle used to be headquartered solely in Baton Rouge. In 2016 they started to expand into other markets with a move to Charlotte. Since then, they have sold off all components of the Baton Rouge chemical plant, forever severing ties to their hometown and relocating 200+ employees to Charlotte.
The sale and move appears to have been positive for the business, with Albemarle reporting first quarter net sales of $821.6 million and earnings of $131.8 million. That is up from $51.2 million in earnings from the first quarter of the previous year.
W.R. Grace & Co. is the new owner of the Baton Rouge based chemical plant. It's unclear what the sale means for current employees at the plant or the direction the new owner plans to take with the processing facility. While the plant will no longer be locally owned and operated, it will still be operating, which is important for the community in general. With the sale of a business, the outcome for both seller and buyer cannot be weighed solely in the short-term, but the long-term results must be considered as well.