Charlotte chemical company sells business unit for $3.2 billion

Charlotte-based chemical company Albemarle Corp. has completed the $3.2 billion sale of its surface treatment business to BASF, a German chemical maker.

Albemarle CEO Luke Kissam said the deal will accelerate the company’s transformation into one “focused on powering increased energy efficiency around the world through our leading lithium and refinery catalysts businesses,” according to a statement this week.

Albemarle was previously based in Baton Rouge, La. In 2015, the company said it was relocating its headquarters to Charlotte, bringing 120 jobs. Earlier this year, Kissam wrote a letter to N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory to say that Albemarle opposes House Bill 2 because it is “inconsistent with our company’s values.”

Albemarle’s chemicals are used in products ranging from electronics to flame retardants to pharmaceuticals. The company is publicly traded and has its corporate headquarters at 4350 Congress St. in SouthPark.