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.
|Eric R. Schnur|
president, chairman and CEO
|Revenue||Approximately $6.5 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
Lubrizol Advanced Materials
|Footnotes / references|
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 MaterialsEdit
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.
Sites in and around Rouen (France) have been the site of numerous industrial incidents:
- In 1975 and 1989, two incidents (similar to the one that will occur in 2013) result in the emission of mercaptans.
- On April 16, 2003, a fire damaged the facilities of the Oudalle factory without causing any casualties.
- On January 21, 2013, an incident occurred at the Lubrizol plant located in Rouen (Seine-Maritime): the chemical decomposition of a zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) tank resulted in the emission of a cloud of gas composed of a cocktail of mercaptans (probably dominated by isopropyl mercaptan), whose odor was perceptible far beyond the Rouen site by several hundred thousand people, the plume from south of London to the Paris region ("Complaints of local residents citing bad smells, headaches or nausea were thus collected by the poison and toxicovigilance centers (CAPTV) and Air normand between 21 and 22 January). The hazard study had modeled the risk of decomposition of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate, a risk also taken into account in the development of the PPRT: according to this modeling, H2S can be emitted (highly toxic with fatal or irreversible effects beyond certain thresholds, thresholds not reached in the environment during the event of 21 January). This decomposition is also a source of large quantities of mercaptans, gases known to be not very toxic but whose olfactory threshold is very low (10,000 times lower than the concentrations reached in the air that day). The genes or headaches related to this type of event have not been integrated in the PPRT, but must be included in emergency plans (PPI ...). After analyzing the accident, corrective measures were submitted to CODERST (May 2013) and then imposed on the factory via a prefectural order (June 2013). These measures are: better monitoring of the temperature of the adjustment tanks, new automatic safety systems, an analysis of the stirring and refrigeration needs of the tanks (decalcification, new refrigeration means, etc.), new monitoring tools process, manufacturing and alarm, an improved process of response in case of decomposition, improvement of the measurement system of mercaptans in the stack and finally the resizing of the system treating releases to the air in case of decomposition. The implementation of these measures was verified by the DREAL on June 11 and 12, 2013. The invisible but fragrant plume of mercaptans was retrospectively modeled (publication 2015).
- On September 3, 2019, a fire broke out at the Lubrizol plant in Oudalle, near Le Havre (Seine-Maritime). 50 firefighters and 12 vehicles were mobilized.
- On September 26, 2019, explosions and a fire (major accident) occurred around 2:40 a.m. in the storage areas of the Rouen plant. 240 firefighters and 200 vehicles were mobilized, including some from Paris. The authorities ordered the evacuation of the population within a radius of 500 meters around the factory, closed schools of the surrounding municipalities, and later recommended not having direct contact with the soot and not eating the crops and food products exposed to the chemical release. Due to the weather, the poisonous smoke plume formed a dark, heavy cloud that remained relatively low-lying about 20 kilometers long and about 6 km, locally flattened to the ground by wind and rain. This plume then gradually spread to the northeast, carried by a wind from the southwest. It reached the country of Bray and then crossed the Hauts-de-France, heading towards Belgium. Due to the rain, precipitation of soot and hydrocarbons took place. Wetlands and the river Seine were polluted, with likely consequences for aquatic fauna and biodiversity. Following the accident, it was reported that several school children complained from headaches and nausea.
Acquisitions and partnershipsEdit
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
- "Top workplaces". The Plain Dealer. 2016. Archived from the original on 4 September 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Erman, Michael (14 March 2011). "Buffett bets on emerging markets with Lubrizol buy". Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Ramesh, Deepti (2 June 2016). "Lubrizol names next CEO". IHS Chemical Week. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
- Scott, Mark (2017-08-01). "Lubrizol uses chemistry to change the world. Eric R. Schnur wants to take that to the next level". Smart Business. Archived from the original on 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- "The Lubrizol Corporation". Archived from the original on 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
- Calvin H. Smalheer (1972). The Story of Lubrizol. Cleveland, Ohio: The Lubrizol Corporation. pp. 3–10. OCLC 622939.
- Trotman, Andrew (14 March 2011). "Who are Lubrizol?". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Lubrizol Corp. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Lawrence A. Cunningham (2014). Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values. New York City: Columbia University Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780231538695.
- "Company news: Lubrizol will buy Noveon for $920 million in cash". The New York Times. 17 April 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Blumenthal, Karen (19 April 2004). "Lubrizol agrees to buy Noveon to broaden product offerings". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Jack W. Plunkett (2008). Plunkett's Chemicals, Coatings & Plastics Industry Almanac 2009. Plunkett Research. ISBN 9781593924652.
- Putrich, Gayle S. (24 February 2016). "Acquisitions lead Lubrizol to expanded offerings". Plastics News. Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- "Wall Street down but resilient on Japan crisis". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. 2011-03-15. Archived from the original on 2011-04-11. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
- Thomas, Helen (14 March 2011). "Berkshire Hathaway in $9bn Lubrizol deal". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "David Sokol: Timeline of His Lubrizol Stock Purchases". The Wall Street Journal. 30 March 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Berkshire Hathaway closes on $9 billion deal for Lubrizol Corp. of Wickliffe". The Associated Press. 16 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- DeBenedetto, Paul (1 December 2014). "Lubrizol to shell out $825M for Weatherford businesses". Law360. Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Buhayar, Noah (27 February 2017). "Berkshire's Lubrizol took $365 million loss on oilfield business". Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Suttell, Scott (21 August 2013). "Lubrizol opens big additives plant in China". Crain Communications. Archived from the original on 2 May 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- McCafferty, Rachael (7 June 2017). "Lubrizol Corp. is investing $60 million in its LifeSciences business". Crain's Cleveland Business. Crain Publishing. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Lubrizol Corp. to take majority stake in Indian joint venture". Crain Communications. 21 March 2017. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Company overview of The Lubrizol Corporation". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Company overview of Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Lubrizol Corp. agrees to buy oilfield chemicals, drilling fluids businesses of Weatherford International". Crain Communications. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Ouverture des écoles à Rouen: la méfiance des parents d'élèves et des enseignants". Le Figaro. 30 September 2019. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- "Lubrizol acquires Diamond Dispersions". Coatings World. 6 July 2016. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Thayer, Ann M. (14 September 2015). "Particle Sciences goes to Lubrizol". Chemical & Engineering News. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Lubrizol acquires Brazilian coatings maker". Crain Communications. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Lubrizol closes acquisition of Warwick Chemicals, Weatherford businesses". Processing Magazine. 6 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Lubrizol announces Warwick Chemicals acquisition, Mitsui Chemicals alliance". Processing Magazine. 2 December 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Esposito, Frank (8 August 2014). "Lubrizol buys medical extruder Vesta". Plastics News. Archived from the original on 4 October 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Berkshire Hathaway's Lubrizol buys Spanish firm Lipotec". The Associated Press. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Schaefer, Katie (13 December 2011). "Lubrizol agrees to acquire Active Organics". Cosmetics & Toiletries. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Pooja Kondhia (13 December 2011). "Lubrizol acquires specialty chemicals firm Active Organics". Cosmeticsdesign.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Suttell, Scott (9 November 2011). "Lubrizol Corp. agrees to acquire Chemtool Inc". Crain Communications. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Lubrizol acquires Merquinsa creating a TPU titan". Plastics Today. 3 November 2011. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Katie Schaefer (27 January 2011). "Lubrizol/Noveon acquires Nalco's personal care business". Cosmetics & Toiletries. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Katz, Jonathan (5 January 2009). "Lubrizol acquires Dow termoplastics unit". IndustryWeek. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Lubrizol announces metalworking acquisition". Tribology & Lubrication Technology. March 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016.