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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Chemical maker W.R. Grace to split in two, shares jump, (NYSE: GRA)

Specialty chemical manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co said it would split into two companies in a tax-free transaction to shareholders, driving up its shares by as much as 15 percent.W.R. Grace, which emerged from one of the longest U.S. bankruptcies in 2013, said the split would improve its strategic focus, simplify operations and allow for better use of capital."I also believe the split will open up opportunities around the materials space, around the silica space and other inorganic materials," Chairman and Chief Executive Fred Festa said on a conference call on Thursday.The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted earnings, raised its forecast for 2015 earnings per share, and said it would purchase back $500 million of shares.

W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials on a global basis. Shares of GRA traded higher by 11.27% or $10.27/share to $101.38. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $79.06 and as high as $105.05. On average, 613060 shares of GRA exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2116715.