Issue Date: June 29, 2009
BASF will shut down a polystyrene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, at the end of this month because of a decline in demand. The move will reduce its European capacity by 80,000 metric tons per year to 540,000 metric tons. Earlier this month, the firm said it would shut down an expandable polystyrene plant in Tarragona, Spain, by August.
Ashland has agreed to sell its marine-services business, Drew Marine, to J. F. Lehman, a private equity firm, in a $120 million before-tax deal. With annual sales of some $140 million, Drew Marine provides testing, cleaning, engineering, and other products and services to the marine industry.
Solutia sold 24.7 million shares in a public offering of its common stock and raised $119 million after expenses. The firm says it will use net proceeds to repay an outstanding $74 million loan and for general corporate purposes.
Frutarom, an Israel-based flavor and fragrances maker, has signed an agreement to buy the savory flavors business of Chr. Hansen, in Germany, for $7 million. Frutarom plans to shut down manufacturing activities at Hansen's Holdorf operation and transfer them to Frutarom's existing sites in Germany.
Dow Chemical's 45% interest in Total Raffinaderij Nederland, a Dutch refinery, will be sold to Russia's Lukoil and not to U.S.-based Valero Energy as previously announced. France's Total, the majority owner of the refinery, exercised its option to buy the Dow stake. It then agreed to sell it to Lukoil.
Cytec Industries has reduced its earnings outlook for 2009 to a range of 60 to 90 cents per share, down from $1.35 to $1.75 per share. CEO Shane Fleming says weak demand for melamine products, coating resins, and carbon fibers used to build aircraft accounts for the adjusted outlook.
Huntsman Crop. has completed its acquisition of a textile effects plant in Baroda, India, previously owned by Metrochem Industries (C&EN, July 9, 2007, page 22). Employing 700 people, the plant makes specialty dyes and intermediates. Huntsman already operates several textile effects plants in Asia and recently decided to move its headquarters for the business to Singapore.
Lonza and DSM Nutritional Products have extended a collaboration at their Visp and Lalden production sites in Switzerland. Lonza supplies services and raw materials for vitamins, carotenoids, and aroma chemicals produced by DSM. As part of the new agreement, the firms are reviewing the organizational setup for the 147 Lonza employees working at the Lalden site.
GlaxoSmithKline and U.K.-based Chroma Therapeutics will develop macrophage-targeted compounds with Chroma's esterase-sensitive motif technology. Chroma could receive more than $1 billion if all programs with GSK are successful. GSK also invested in Chroma by participating in the firm's recent $25 million financing round.
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