Volume 86 Issue 5 | p. 16 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 4, 2008

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Tata Chemicals has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the soda ash business of General Chemical Industrial Products for $1 billion. General Chemical has 2.5 million metric tons of natural soda ash capacity in Wyoming and is controlled by private-equity firm Harbinger Capital Partners. In 2005, Tata bought former ICI soda ash maker Brunner Mond.

PPG Industries has become a "founding reporter" of the Climate Registry, an organization formed in March 2007 by 39 U.S. states and other groups to accurately measure greenhouse gas emissions. By joining, PPG agrees to annually measure, independently verify, and publicly report its greenhouse gas emissions.

Oxea, a producer of oxo derivatives, will expand its Bay City, Texas, plant. The company says it will expand capacity for propionaldehyde and n-propanol 10% by mid-2008.

Evonik Industries is expanding its oxo-alcohol capacity in Marl, Germany, by 60,000 metric tons per year. Among other projects, the company will start making 2-propyl heptanol, used to plasticize polyvinyl chloride, by the second half of 2009.

Staxera, a developer of solid oxide fuel cell stacks, has opened a new 500-m2 R&D and production center in Dresden, Germany. Staxera is a joint venture of the fuel cell systems developer Enerday and former Bayer subsidiary H.C. Starck.

Ineos has received unconditional clearance from the European Commission to acquire Hydro Polymers from Norsk Hydro. The acquisition was the subject of a lengthy review by the EC, which at one point accused the parties of trying to complete the deal prematurely.

Hexion Specialty Chemicals has extended the termination date of its proposed merger with Huntsman Corp. by another 90 days to allow more time for U.S. antitrust review of the transaction. Both companies have sizable epoxy resins businesses. The companies do not expect the deal to close before May.

BASF opened a lab in Thane, India, that can produce kilogram quantities of organic compounds, including ionic liquids and precursors for the development of electronic storage media. The company also launched its $415,000 Indo-German R&D Fund, which will dispense funds to Indian research groups.

Pierre Fabre Laboratories and Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. are cooperating in oncology research. NPIL will contribute access to its library of natural products, and France-based Pierre Fabre will provide expertise in screening and oncology research. A deal was signed during a recent visit to India by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

 
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