BUSINESS ROUNDUP | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 41 | p. 20
Issue Date: October 8, 2007


Department: Business

Dow Chemical will work with WaterHealth International to provide $30 million worth of loan guarantees to support the financing of up to 2,000 community water systems in India. WaterHealth says the commitment will allow it to install more than the 3,000 systems it previously targeted.

Eastman Chemical has exercised its option to purchase an idle methanol and ammonia facility in Beaumont, Texas, from Terra Industries. The plant will be downstream from a $1.6 billion coal gasification complex that Eastman is helping to construct in Beaumont.

Süd-Chemie has agreed to sell its Nanofil business to Rockwood Specialties for an undisclosed sum. Nanofil products are organically modified bentonite clays that are added to plastics as flame retardants and barrier agents.

Konarka, a firm developing polymer-based solar cells, has raised $45 million in new financing from investors including Mackenzie Financial and Good Energies.

Kemira's Water Solutions subsidiary will acquire Nheel Química, a Brazilian water treatment chemicals company, for an undisclosed sum. In 2006, Nheel had sales of approximately $34 million, generated from coagulants produced at its site in Rio Claro, São Paulo state.

Asahi Kasei and Nippon Kayaku have agreed to merge their industrial explosives businesses into an equally owned joint venture with projected annual sales of $85 million. The companies say the Japanese market for explosives has been declining.

Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's largest drug company, will increase its stake in Zenotech Laboratories to 45% from 7% today. Zenotech, an Indian company that produces injectable drugs, is developing generic versions of several biopharmaceuticals. Ranbaxy says the move positions it to participate in the emerging generic biologics market.

Wyeth's board has elected Bernard Poussot as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2008. Current chairman and CEO Robert Essner will remain in his job until then and stay on afterward as chairman for a transition period. Poussot is currently president and chief operating officer.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has acquired Priority Solutions International, a $95 million-per-year company that delivers pharmaceutical samples and direct-to-physician drug supplies. Thermo says Priority fits with its biopharma services business, which delivers samples to patients participating in clinical trials.

PDL BioPharma has put itself up for sale. The Redwood City, Calif., biotech company recently announced the elimination of 250 jobs, about a quarter of its workforce, following a halt in the development of Nuvion, for ulcerative colitis, due to poor efficacy.

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