Cytec snaps up Formula One composite maker

Umeco, the manufacturer behind the strong but light composite material used to build every Formula One car on the grid, was yesterday sold to a rival for £274m.

The chemicals maker Cytec Industries offered 550p a share for Umeco. Umeco's board and major shareholders BlackRock, Hermes and Aberforth, who hold about a third of its stock, are backing the acquisition.

Umeco specialises in making high-performance composites of chemicals and fibre glass, which are used for the blades of wind farms, military drones and the new Foxhound army vehicle, as well as for F1 cars. The company counts Boeing, Airbus and BAE Systems among its customers, and is also providing its composites for the Bloodhound Project, a 1,000mph world land speed record-breaking attempt with a rocket-propelled car.

Cytec's chief executive, Shane Fleming, said the deal "greatly improves [his company's] presence in the industrial sector."