Business Roundup | February 2, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 5 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 5 | p. 17 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 2, 2009

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Bayer will invest some $30 million in a long-planned facility to produce carbon nanotubes. The plant, in Bayer's headquarters site in Leverkusen, will have capacity of 200 metric tons per year. Bayer has had a pilot plant with an annual capacity of 60 tons in operation in southern Germany since 2007.

Ineos has seen its securities ratings downgraded by credit analysts at Moody's Investors Services to Caa2, well below investment grade. The ratings concern says that deteriorating market conditions and the outlook for 2009 increase the probability of Ineos' default.

Intrepid Potash says it will temporarily shut down potash production at its Carlsbad, N.M., facility for two weeks in February because of declining fertilizer demand. When production restarts, the facility will operate on three shifts instead of the usual four.

Sika, a Swiss specialty chemical company, has acquired U.K.-based Iotech Group, a producer of resins and polymers for the coatings, adhesives, and sealants industries. The purchase covers Iotech's two subsidiaries—Incorez, in the U.S., and Industrial Copolymers, in the U.K.

AkzoNobel and Purac have developed organic peroxides that they say improve the polymerization of polylactic acid by selectively switching off catalysts. The peroxides will be offered to buyers of Purac lactides.

Wal-Mart aims to reduce by 70% phosphates in the laundry and dish detergents it sells in its Americas region, which includes Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and Argentina, by 2011. According to Wal-Mart, phosphates from detergents are a significant contributor to phosphate-based water pollution.

Wyeth and Dutch biopharmaceutical maker Crucell have ended merger talks after the announcement of Pfizer's agreement to buy Wyeth (see page 7).

Norway's biotech industry has received a $418 million lifeline from the government as part of a larger stimulus package. According to the Oslo Cancer Cluster, more than half of its 25 members, which collectively boast over 50 drugs in the pipeline, are in danger of running out of money in the next 12 to 18 months.

NitroMed has agreed to be acquired by Deerfield Management, a health care investment firm, for about $36 million. The company is dropping its earlier agreement to merge with Archemix, which is developing therapeutics based on synthetic oligonucleotides.

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