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November 5, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 45

Bayer Material Science is selling its Hennecke subsidiary, which makes urethane-processing machinery, to Vienna-based investment group Adcuram for an undisclosed sum. Hennecke employs about 500 people at sites in Pittsburgh, Singapore, Shanghai, and Germany.

Chemtura has sold its optical monomers business to Acomon, a subsidiary of the German private equity firm Auctus Management. Based in Ravenna, Italy, the business had about $35 million in 2006 sales of monomers used in eyewear lenses, welding masks, and other applications.

Rhodia will discontinue production of acetaminophen at its plant in Roussillon, France, with the loss of 43 jobs. Efforts to cut costs "have failed to prevent a decline in this business activity and restore its competitiveness," the company says.

Perstorp, the Swedish specialty chemicals company, has acquired compatriot firm TallOil in a move to expand its business in biofuels, including pine tar. The acquisition will take place via Perstorp's newly formed Perstorp BioProducts business.

Israel Chemicals and Dai-ichi Kogyo Seiyaku plan to expand capacity for the brominated flame retardant FR-245 at their plant in Ramat-Hovav, Israel. The expansion, which will cost about $8 million, is expected to open next spring.

Kemira has named Harri Kerminen, 56, as its new CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2008. Kerminen, currently president of the company's pulp and paper division, succeeds Lasse Kurkilahti, who will become senior adviser to the Kemira board of directors.

Hercules will locate phosphate ester surfactant production at its newly acquired Brunswick, Ga., plant. Hercules bought the surfactant business in August from Bronx, N.Y.-based Dexter Chemical. Hercules is also expanding wood rosin recovery at the site to support its rosin ester business.

Basell and Lyondell Chemical will become LyondellBasell Industries after Basell completes its acquisition of Lyondell, which is expected to occur later this year. The European Commission recently gave the deal the green light.

Pfizer has signed a letter of intent to license a schizophrenia drug candidate from Tokyo-based Taisho Pharmaceutical. Taisho will get $22 million up front and other possible payments, while Pfizer will get rights to develop the drug outside of Japan. TS-032, now in preclinical trials, stimulates the metabotropic glutamate receptor, which is responsible for several central nervous system functions.

Merck and Dynavax Technologies have signed an agreement to develop Heplisav, a Dynavax hepatitis B vaccine currently in Phase III clinical trials. Dynavax will receive an initial payment of $31.5 million and will be eligible to receive up to $105 million in development and sales milestone payments.



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