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Business Roundup

February 9, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 6

Waters Corp. has purchased all of the remaining stock of privately held Thar Instruments for an undisclosed amount, after having made an equity investment in June 2007. With annual revenues of about $18 million, Thar manufactures supercritical fluid chromatography systems for separating, isolating, and quantifying chemicals.

CF Industries says it will nominate three replacement directors to Terra Industries' board, in a move to advance its buyout offer for the company. In addition, by mid-February, CF will begin an exchange offer for all outstanding shares of Terra common stock at a fixed ratio of 0.4235 CF shares for each Terra share.

Borealis will sell its Agrolinz Melamine International business in Italy to Borgo Olona, a group of regional investors. The new owner will rename the business Chemisol Italia. It produces additives for the woodworking industry and melamine-based resins.

Arkema's specialty chemical unit, CECA, has acquired Winkelmann Mineraria, an Italian firm that specializes in making expanded perlite for food processing, gardening, and other markets. CECA says Winkelmann's expertise can be used in its own business of producing filters for food and wine.

Novozymes and China National Cereals, Oil & Foodstuff have joined the Chinese oil company Sinopec to develop a commercial-scale process for turning corn stover into ethanol. CNCOF has operated a pilot-scale ethanol plant for the past two years in an existing venture with Novozymes.

Fujifilm will spend more than $11 million to boost its stake in Perseus Proteomics from 22% to 77%. Japan-based Perseus has developed antibody production technologies that Fujifilm hopes to turn into antibody-based therapeutics targeting diseases such as cancer.

Johnson & Johnson has signed on to Enlight Biosciences, a Boston-based company that invests in technologies that improve drug discovery and development. Enlight was founded by academic scientists and the venture capital fund PureTech Ventures. It already had funding from Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Eli Lilly & Co.

Kreido Biofuels, a Camarillo, Calif.-based biodiesel technology firm, plans to sell most of its assets to Four Rivers BioEnergy of Calvert City, Ky. In June, Kreido announced that it was unable to raise the money needed to build a plant. Four Rivers will pay Kreido $2.8 million in cash and 1.2 million shares of its stock.

FMC plans to end alginates blending in Drammen, Norway, by the end of the year. The company will consolidate blending operations in Haugesund, Norway, and seaweed extraction in Girvan, Scotland. Derived from seaweed, alginates are used to thicken food and personal care products.

Redpoint Bio, a developer of taste-improving compounds, will reduce its workforce 33% by cutting 12 positions in R&D and administration. The Ewing, N.J., firm earlier hired Burrill & Co. to help it assess alternatives, including an acquisition or sale of the company.



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