Issue Date: October 1, 2007
The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of Finnish fertilizer producer Kemira GrowHow by Norwegian rival Yara, after the two parties agreed to address competition concerns in parts of Europe. Separately, the commission has extended its deadline for reviewing Schering-Plough's acquisition of Akzo Nobel's Organon BioSciences unit from Sept. 27 to Oct. 11.
Bayer MaterialScience and Bayer Technology Services will set up a catalysis research center in Aachen, Germany. Together, the Bayer companies will invest more than $10 million in the center, which will employ up to 12 researchers on the grounds of RWTH Aachen University. Local organizations will pitch in another $3.8 million.
Dow Chemical is selling its Ethafoam polyethylene foam business to Bubble Wrap maker Sealed Air for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes a process technology license, customer contracts, trademarks, and production equipment. Dow will make the products for Sealed Air for 18 months at facilities in Hanging Rock, Ohio, and Drusenheim, France.
Solvin, the joint venture of Solvay and BASF, will expand production of polyvinylidene chloride latex in Tavaux, France. The new production line will add annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons of the latex, a barrier material used as a coating in packaging applications.
Tronox says it won't sell its titanium dioxide plant in Uerdingen, Germany, as earlier proposed. Tronox says the offers it received didn't adequately value the facility.
Twin Rivers Technologies will add a new glycerin refinery and expand fatty acid capacity at its Quincy, Mass., oleochemicals facility. The company says the project will cost $13 million and be complete by May 2008. Twin Rivers was acquired by Malaysia's Felda Holdings earlier this year.
Polymer Technology Group, a supplier of polymers for medical devices, has created a life sciences incubator called Emergence. Along with outside investors, PTG says it will invest money and provide materials know-how to new medical device makers that locate in its Berkeley, Calif., facility.
Ablynx has received a $2.7 million grant from Belgium's Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science & Technology. Ablynx will use the grant to explore new drugs that exploit the properties of its Nanobodies therapeutic proteins, which are based on single-domain antibody fragments.
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