CLEVELAND — Standard Industries announced that it was acquiring W.R. Grace, a leading supplier of specialty chemicals, for $7 billion. Subsequent to the completion of the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021, W.R. Grace will operate as a stand-alone company alongside other Standard Industries operations.

Standard Industries — through its network of subsidiaries — holds leading positions in a number of market segments. For instance, its GAF Materials subsidiary is a leading U.S. supplier of roofing, and plays a key role in other construction markets. Similarly, Standard Industries plays a key role in the European roofing and waterproofing markets through its Braas Monier and Icopal, and Siplast subsidiaries.

According to Freedonia Group Industry Analyst Matt Zielenski, the acquisition will allow Standard Industries to broaden its portfolio of businesses and position itself as a leading provider of catalysts and silica-based chemicals, as both sectors are expected to see solid growth.

"Demand for silica-based chemicals is also projected to increase, as changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic will continue even as the disease recedes," Zielenski said. "Interest in home improvement projects will boost demand for silicas used in paint formulations and protective coatings, while silica-based additives used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products will see growth as consumption of these items rises."

Zielenski added that the acquisition will position Standard Industries as a "key provider" of environmentally friendly business solutions. GAF, for instance, recently announced it successfully produced the industry’s first asphalt roofing shingles containing recycled material from post-consumer and post-manufacture waste shingles that otherwise would have headed to a landfill.

"Many of the catalysts made by Grace can be used by refiners and processors of petrochemicals to enhance the efficiency of their operations, generating less waste and fewer byproducts that harm the environment," Zielenski said. "These products complement other operations by Standard Industries, such as GAF Materials' recent introductions of solar roofing products and asphalt shingles made from recycled asphalt."