CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ferro Corp. said Friday it is selling its fine chemicals business to Novolyte Technologies LP, an affiliate of Arsenal Capital Management LP, for $66 million cash.
Ferro said proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down debt.
Ferro's fine chemicals business produces electrolytes used to make lithium batteries, specialty solvents and phosphines, and also does contract manufacturing of fine chemicals.
The business unit, which includes manufacturing facilities in Baton Rouge, La., and Suzhou, China, recorded 2007 revenue of about $55 million. Its 140 employees will be transferred to Novolyte.
James F. Kirsch, Ferro's chairman, president and chief executive, said the unit consists of a number of smaller businesses that do not effectively leverage the scale of Ferro's core performance materials operations.
"I am confident that the Fine Chemicals business will continue to pursue many exciting opportunities under its new owners," Kirsch said in a statement.
Ferro shares rose 32 cents to $19.99 in morning trading.