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Albemarle Corporation (ALB - Snapshot Report) announced that it will realign its global business units (GBUs) with effect from Jan 1, 2014. The company will align its assets within two GBUs.

The new organizational structure will allow the company to increase its customer focus, enhance innovation and accelerate growth. Each of these GBUs will have their own sales, research and development, process engineering, manufacturing and sourcing and business strategy units and personnel.

One of them will be the Performance Chemicals GBU which will include Fire Safety Solutions, Specialty Chemicals and Fine Chemistry Services, integrating the company's bromine, mineral and custom manufacturing assets under one business unit. Albemarle announced that the GBU will be lead by Matt Juneau who has more than 30 years experience in the chemical industry.

The other unit -- The Catalyst Solutions GBU -- will include Refinery Catalyst Solutions, Performance Catalyst Solutions and Antioxidants. Albemarle appointed D. Michael Wilson as the president of Catalyst Solutions, who recently joined the company after leaving FMC Corporation (FMC - Analyst Report).

According to Albemarle, the new structure will allow it to develop and commercialize new applications for bromine, protect and grow its flame retardants business and expand its catalyst business into new markets more quickly. The company expects to hasten its decision making process through the move and achieve its long term goal of increasing R&D spending to roughly 4% of sales.

Baton Rouge, LA-based Albemarle is a premier global developer, producer and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services. The company currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Other companies in the chemical industry with favorable Zacks Rank are The Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN - Analyst Report) and Du Pont (DD - Analyst Report). Both hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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