JACKSON, Miss. (July 27)—ChemFirst Inc. will sell its custom and fine chemicals business, a pilot plant and a manufacturing facility in a cash transaction to Albemarle Corp. to focus on the polyurethane and semiconductor markets. Richmond, Va.-based Albemarle will pay about $74 million in the cash transaction, along with additional contingent payments not expected to exceed $10 million. Proceeds from the sale—which the company expects to be in the area of $72 million after taxes—will be used to pay down debt, repurchase stock and for general corporate purposes, a ChemFirst spokesman said. Once the deal is finalized, ChemFirst will be left with its polyurethane and semiconductor businesses, the spokesman said. Included in the sale are a cGMP pilot plant in Dayton, Ohio; a multifunctional manufacturing plant in Tyrone, Pa.; and the firm's pharmaceutical contract research and development unit and fine chemical product lines, which include FirstCure performance polymer products, according to the company.