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Business Roundup

December 22, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 51

Arkema's CECA specialty chemical unit, as part of the restructuring of its surfactant business begun in 2007, is selling its quaternary esters and phosphoric esters businesses to Stepan. These activities account for annual sales of about $11 million per year. Stepan says it will transfer production to its plant in Voreppe, France.

Dow Chemical will permanently close three emulsion polymer units that it idled during the second half of 2008 because they were not economically viable. The facilities, located in King's Lynn, England; Varennes, Quebec; and Pittsburg, Calif., produced latex for the paper and carpet industry.

AkzoNobel has upped its stake to 75% in Kayaku Akzo, a joint venture in Japan with Nippon Kayaku. The previously 50-50 venture makes organic peroxides. The partners have been together for nearly 40 years.

Nalco and Haas TCM have formed a joint venture called PCM Solutions to provide total chemical management services to customers in the process industries. Haas TCM already provides such services to customers in nonprocess (assembly based) industries such as automotive, aerospace, and electronics.

BASF has acquired Kejie Admixture Science & Technology, a supplier of concrete admixtures that employs about 100 people near Guangzhou, in southern China. The acquisition increases to 13 the number of construction material manufacturing sites that BASF operates throughout China.

Rohm and Haas and IBM have signed a joint agreement for the development of new materials for semiconductor packaging. According to IBM, the next generation of 3-D semiconductor packages will pose fabrication challenges that must be addressed with new materials.

Bioamber, a joint venture between U.S.-based DNP Green Technology and ARD, the research arm of a French agricultural cooperative, has begun construction on a biobased succinic acid plant in Pomacle, France. The companies say the plant will cost $27 million and have an annual capacity of 2,000 metric tons.

Prosonix has formed an agreement with the German firm Aeropharm to apply its ultrasonic particle engineering technology to the pharmaceutical industry. Prosonix, based in Oxford, England, says the partners will pursue difficult-to-make inhaled generic drugs.

Wyeth has acquired Thiakis, an England-based biotech company, for $40 million, plus possible additional payments of up to $120 million. Thiakis is developing a synthetic version of the gastrointestinal peptide oxyntomodulin as an obesity treatment.



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