WR Grace and Company

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WR Grace & Co.

legal form Corporation
ISIN US38388F1084
founding 1854
Seat Columbia , United StatesUnited StatesUnited States 
management Hudson La Force
Number of employees 4,000
sales $ 2 billion
Branch chemistry
Website www.grace.com
Status: 2019

WR Grace and Company is a global American chemical company headquartered in Maryland , United States . The company was founded in 1854 by William Russell Grace (1832-1904), who was temporarily mayor of New York .

The company has subsidiaries in almost forty countries and employs around 3,700 people. Annual sales are around $ 1.6 billion. In Germany, WR Grace has subsidiaries in Worms (Grace GmbH & Co KG, ) with 900 employees, Düren (Grace Silica GmbH) and Lügde (Grace Bauprodukte GmbH). World icon


In 1954, WR Grace took over the Dewey and Almy Chemical Company and the Davison Chemical Company . In 2001 the company had to file for bankruptcy due to various claims for damages. In 2013, WR Grace acquired the Polypropylene Catalysts division from Dow Chemical . On February 3, 2014, the company was able to leave the bankruptcy protection again.

The concrete admixtures division (e.g. release agents and dyes) was spun off as GCP Applied Technologies in early 2016 and floated on the stock exchange.

In mid-2016, WR Grace took over the polyolefin catalysts division from BASF .

Legal proceedings

WR Grace mined vermiculite , a mica slate that multiplies in volume when heated and, in the form of granules, becomes fire-resistant, lightweight insulating material. 80 percent of vermiculite production around the world came from WR Grace of Libby , Montana . Together with the inherently harmless vermiculite, however, tremolite , a special form of asbestos , was extracted from the mountain. As a result, there were about 250,000 complaints against WR Grace and Company; mainly from customers who processed or used the insulation material. 187 of the reports were from miners and their families in Libby.

On September 11, 2006, the trial against executives of the Grace group was to begin in federal court in Missoula . They were charged with failing to inform the responsible authorities about the asbestos hazard and for obstructing subsequent investigations. The judge Donald Molloy did not allow the charge of knowingly endangering the people of the valley; he invoked the limitation period of five years. The number of such claims for damages against WR Grace increased steadily from year to year and WR Grace finally went to apply for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001 .

In Woburn, Massachusetts, in 1979 , Grace and Beatrice Foods poisoned the groundwater and Grace paid $ 8 million through an out-of-court settlement with the families of seven Woburn children who developed leukemia for drinking poisoned water (base of the civil case film ) .


Grace is a leading catalyst manufacturer . There are FCC catalysts ( lanthanum oxide / zeolite ), hydroprocessing catalysts, under about the joint venture Advanced Technologies Refining with Chevron are marketed as well as metallocene catalysts for the production of polyolefins prepared. So is z. B. Raney Nickel a trademark of Grace.

The “Materials Technologies” division produces cosmetic and food additives, matting agents , anti-rust pigments, paint, varnish and paper additives based on silica gel and amorphous aluminosilicates. In addition, fillers for rubber and adsorbents are made from silicon dioxide .

Individual evidence

  1. Leadership
  2. ^ Federal Gazette : Grace Europe Holding GmbH, Worms. Annual financial statements as of December 31, 2013 and management report for the 2013 financial year
  3. Dow to sell polypropylene business to Catalyst WR Grace , October 11, 2013
  4. ^ WR Grace & Company History
  5. Grace to complete construction products spin-off in February , January 18, 2016
  6. BASF completes sale of global polyolefin catalysts business to WR Grace & Co. , July 1, 2016
  7. unknown: The history of WR Grace & Co. ( Memento from March 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Seattle Post-Intelligencer from November 18, 1999
  8. ART® hydroprocessing Catalysts
  9. RANEY Nickel