|Eric R. Schnur|
president, chairman and CEO
|Revenue||Approximately $6.5 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
Lubrizol Advanced Materials
|Footnotes / references|
The Lubrizol Corporation is a provider of specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial and consumer markets. These products include additives for engine oils and other transportation-related fluids, additives for industrial lubricants, and additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, Lubrizol makes ingredients and additives for personal care products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, specialty materials, including plastics technology, and coatings in the form of specialty resins and additives.
Lubrizol is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway and is headquartered in Wickliffe, Ohio. The company generated $6.5 billion in revenue in 2016 and has an employee headcount of approximately 8,300 people globally. Eric R. Schnur is the current president, chairman and CEO.
The Lubrizol Corporation was founded in 1928 as The Graphite Oil Products Company in Cleveland, Ohio, by father Frank A. Nason and son Francis A. "Alex" Nason, Thomas W. James and brothers Kent H. Smith, Vincent K. Smith and A. Kelvin Smith. The company's first product was a graphite lubricant and applicator for early automobiles. In 1929, the company changed its name to The Lubri-Graph Corporation. It moved to Wickliffe, Ohio in 1931. In 1934, Lubri-Graph changed its name to The Lubri-Zol Corporation. The name changed to Lubrizol in 1943.
The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in the 1960s. Toward the end of that decade, Lubrizol focused on developing products to help make cars cleaner and more fuel efficient. During the 1980s, the company created new additives for passenger motor oils, gear oils, hydraulic fluids and viscosity modifiers, while also eyeing biotechnology, agribusiness and specialty chemicals for other applications to expand beyond the transportation field.
Lubrizol acquired Noveon International in 2004 for US$ 920 million in cash and the assumption of US$ 920 million in debt. That move, along with others, helped Lubrizol expand beyond its additives business and create a second business segment, Lubrizol Advanced Materials, producing industrial chemicals for packaging, paints and textiles, chemicals for personal-care products such as lotions and shampoos, and additives and ingredients for engineered polymers, in addition to products for the medical devices and pharmaceutical markets.
Berkshire Hathaway announced on March 14, 2011 that it would acquire Lubrizol for US$9.7 billion in cash. This happened just weeks after a top Berkshire executive, David Sokol, made a major bet on the stock price with his own money. That deal closed in September 2011. In December 2014, Lubrizol bought Weatherford International's engineered chemistry and drilling fluids businesses in a deal valued at US$825 million. This resulted in creation of the company's third business segment, Lubrizol Oilfield Solutions.
The company announced that it eliminated Lubrizol Oilfield Operations business segment in February 2017.
Lubrizol's expansion in other areas of business in the 2000s included a 10-year phased investment plan launched in 2010. The plan, which sought to increase global capacity in additives, featured a plant in Zhuhai, China, among others. Additionally, the company expanded its life sciences unit with the announcement of a $60 million investment to expand its excipient, global polymer and contract manufacturing plants. The new facilities are expected to provide a flow through process for customers. Lubrizol took the majority stake in Lubrizol India Private Ltd., its Indian joint venture with Indian Oil Corp., in March 2017.
The Lubrizol Corporation is broken down into two business segments, Lubrizol Additives and Lubrizol Advanced Materials.
With Lubrizol Additives, the company supplies additives for transportation, including additives for lubricating engine oils, fuels and other chemicals, and industrial lubricants.
Lubrizol Advanced Materials
Lubrizol Advanced Materials creates and sells specialty materials and chemicals used in consumer products for personal care, pharmaceutical and food industries; specialty materials under the TempRite, Hycar and Estane trademarks; and performance coatings under the trademarks Hycar, Sancure, Algan, Performax and Myflam.
Lubrizol had operated Lubrizol Oilfield Solutions, an oilfield chemicals and drilling fluids business, following the 2014 acquisition of Weatherford International businesses. Bloomberg reported in February 2017 that Lubrizol eliminated the oilfield solutions business segment.
Acquisitions and partnerships
Lubrizol has grown its business through a number of acquisitions and partnerships in recent years. Among them:
- Diamond Dispersions (2016), maker of water-based dye and pigment dispersions
- Particle Sciences (2015), a drug developer
- EcoQuimica (2015), maker of coatings
- Warwick Chemicals (2015), produces stain-removal technologies
- Alliance with Mitsui Chemicals (2014) for Lubrizol to sell and market the Lucant polymer product line
- Weatherford International's engineered chemistry and drilling fluids businesses (2014)
- Vesta (2014), maker of catheters and tubing
- Lipotec (2012), a skin care products maker
- Active Organics (2011), a specialty chemicals firm
- Chemtool (2011), maker of custom-formulated greases
- Merquinsa (2011), a maker of thermoplastic polyurethane
- Nalco Company's Nalco Performance Products Group (2011), a personal care and household care specialty polymers and formulation additives business
- Dow Chemical Co.'s thermoplastic polyurethane business (2008) 
- Metalworking additives from Lockhart Chemical Co. (2007)
- Noveon (2004), producer of industrial chemicals for packaging, paints and textiles, as well as chemicals for personal-care products such as lotions and shampoos
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