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Business Roundup

September 6, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 36

American Vanguard has filed documents in federal court seeking relief from EPA’s order that the company stop the sale of its pentachloronitrobenzene fungicide. EPA claims Vanguard did not identify trace impurities in the product in its confidential statement of formula submission. Vanguard says the agency has known about the impurities for 20 years and has never alleged that they pose a risk to human health or the environment.

Rhodia has signed agreements with the French National Center for Scientific Research, Ecole Normale Supérieure of Lyon, and East China Normal University to collaborate on green chemistry. Rhodia wants to strengthen research into polymers and surfactants based on natural raw materials and to develop more efficient catalytic processes.

Univar, the chemical distributor, has cancelled its proposed initial public offering. Instead, private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice will buy a 42.5% stake in Univar that values the distributor at $4.2 billion. Univar’s parent, CVC Capital Partners, will retain a 42.5% stake in the company; management and other investors will hold the remainder.

Eka Chemicals, 
AkzoNobel’s pulp and paper chemicals arm, is selling a water treatment chemicals plant in Vetlanda, Sweden, to Feralco Nordic. The polyaluminum chloride products made at the location are used as coagulants

Gelest has licensed organosilicon compounds designed for cross-coupling reactions from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Chemistry professor Scott Denmark developed the compounds, which Gelest will make available to its customers.

Mascoma, a cellulosic ethanol start-up firm, has acquired SunOpta BioProcess for approximately $51 million of Mascoma shares. SBP, a division of SunOpta Inc., is a fiber preparation and pretreatment technology firm.

Monsanto has acquired a 19.9% stake in InterGrain, a wheat seed developer in Australia. The two firms will collaborate on breeding wheat for Australian growers. Separately, in its earnings update, Monsanto says it will cut between 650 and 700 jobs; 300 of the layoffs will be in the U.S.

Cipla Managing Director Yusuf K. Hamied told company shareholders in Mumbai that the firm will invest $215 million over the next few years in Stempeutics, a stem cell therapy firm based in Bangalore. The two firms recently formed a marketing and research alliance.



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