Shares for American Pacific Corp (APFC) , the small-cap specialty chemicals manufacturer, added nearly 10 percent in midday trading heading into the weekend, on news that the company was considering selling itself.
The $415 million market-cap company saw shares advance to a new 52-week high at just over $58 per share as anonymous sources indicated that a deal could be announced soon, and that the investment bank KeyBanc Capital Markets had been hired to advise the company on moving forward with a possible sale.
Like a good number of specialty chemicals companies, American Pacific’s business is comprised of a diverse juxtaposition of industries. The company develops chemicals used in pharmaceutical treatments for central nervous system disorders, anti-viral medications, and oncology, and is furthermore the only producer of sodium azide in the US.
The company also develops and produces ammonium perchlorate, an oxidizing agent used in rockets, motors, and missiles destined for space exploration as well as defense, and has smaller segments devoted to fire-retardant chemicals as well as water treatment equipment.
While the company, as well as KeyBanc, have so far been tight-lipped in terms of official statements, American Pacific is the best-performing stock in the specialty chemicals industry this year, having advanced an astonishing 244 percent so far in 2013. Over the past 12 months, this figure is even more impressive, at just shy of 350 percent.