NEW YORK (CNNfn) - B.F. Goodrich Co. said Wednesday it had agreed to buy Freedom Chemical Co. in a $375 million cash deal that marks the company's eighth acquisition of a specialty chemicals maker in the past two years.
B.F. Goodrich, which makes aerospace components and chemicals, called the buyout a key ingredient in an acquisition alchemy that ultimately will boost Goodrich's specialty chemical business 30 percent.
News of the deal sent B.F. Goodrich stock down 1/16 to 40 3/16 in midmorning trading Wednesday on the New York Stock exchange.
Freedom Chemical, headquartered in Radnor, Penn., is a leading supplier of specialty chemical additives used in a wide range of personal care products, textiles, graphic arts, paints and pharmaceutical applications.
"This acquisition reflects our strategy of expanding our company in a responsible and profitable manner as quickly and aggressively as possible," said David L. Burner, B.F. Goodrich's chairman and chief executive officer.
Burner added: "We will continue to focus on the strategic actions necessary to build our aerospace and specialty chemicals businesses in a way that will increase shareholder value."
Goodrich officials said they expect the acquisition to close during the first quarter of 1998. The purchase is expected to be non-dilutive to 1998 earnings and accretive from that point on, the company said.
Freedom Chemical reported sales of about $300 million in 1997. Nearly 40 percent of that came from the company's international markets in Great Britain, Germany and India, where it maintains a network of manufacturing facilities.
In December 1997, B.F. Goodrich completed a $1.3 billion merger with Rohr, Inc. After acquiring Freedom Chemical, Goodrich officials said they expect 1998 sales to reach $4 billion.