By Liz White, UT staffLondon-Elementis plc is to sell its Hardman unit-a US-based epoxy and urethane products business-to Royal Adhesives and Sealants llc for £7.8 million ($14.6 million). Elementis, which recently announced 2004 sales of £389.2 million and an operating loss (after goodwill amortisation and exceptional items) of £2.5 million, will use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt, the firm said in a statement on the sale. Hardman, headquartered in Belleville, New Jersey, was previously part of Elementis' Specialties business, and makes epoxy and urethane products for the adhesive and sealants industry worldwide. The unit "has a strong presence in North America," Elementis said, and employs around 43 people. South Bend, Indiana-based Royal makes speciality adhesives and sealants, aimed primarily at industrial and commercial uses, throughout the US. The firm produces both solvent- and water-based adhesives for foam and furniture fabricators, transport uses, marine and assembly applications, and has various urethane-based products in its range. Earnings at Hardman for 2004 (EBITDA) were £1.1 million, on sales of £10. 4 million, with net assets of £2.4 million."This transaction is consistent with our commitment to divest non-core chemical assets at values that reflect the best interests of our shareholders," said Geoff Gaywood, chief executive officer of Elementis, in the firm's statement.Elementis is a supplier of chromium chemicals, organoclays, colourants, iron oxide pigments, zinc products and other additives. It also owns the Linatex business, a maker of speciality abrasion-resistant rubber. The firm recently announced that it might dispose of this rubber unit, which is back in profit with growing sales."