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Business Roundup

October 11, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 41

BASF is following through on plans made two years ago (C&EN, Aug. 25, 2008, page 8) to carve out its styrenics operations into a new business to be known as Styrolution. Effective on Jan. 1, 2011, the new unit will have production sites in Germany, Belgium, South Korea, India, and Mexico; 1,460 employees; and $3.5 billion in sales. BASF unsuccessfully sought to sell the business in 2007.

BASF Venture Capital is the lead sponsor in a $22 million investment in Aspen Aerogels, a Northborough, Mass.-based maker of silica foams used to insulate buildings. BASF says it will help Aspen penetrate the European construction market.

Mallinckrodt Baker, recently acquired by private equity firm New Mountain Capital, has changed its name to Avantor Performance Materials. The lab chemicals firm says that “avant”—as in avant-garde—evokes bold ideas and “tor” means mountains and represents the firm’s aspiration to achieve new heights.

LG Chem will buy Dow Chemical’s stake in their 11-year-old equally owned joint venture producing polycarbonate in South Korea. Terms were not disclosed. Dow sold off its polycarbonate business with the sale of Styron to Bain Capital earlier this year.

Johnson Matthey has signed an agreement to acquire fluid catalytic cracking additives maker Intercat for $56 million. Intercat had sales last year of $58 million from additives that enable petroleum refiners to optimize yield and minimize emissions. The acquisition complements Johnson’s existing catalyst business.

Pfizer says it is reviewing strategic alternatives, including divestiture, for its Capsugel business, which had revenues of $740 million in 2009. The unit develops hard capsules and is an innovator in drug delivery systems, Pfizer says.

Recipharm has acquired Abbott Laboratories’ site in Parets, Spain, for an undisclosed sum. Formerly owned by Solvay Pharmaceuticals, the plant produces pills, ointments, liquids, and other finished drugs. Reci­pharm, a Swedish contract manufacturer, says it will continue to make all Abbott products.

Novo Nordisk is sinking $73 million into an expansion of its Clayton, N.C., manufacturing site, which produces six diabetes treatments. The investment, enabled by grants from the state of North Carolina, will create 85 new jobs at the facility.

Siegfried Group has sold its PulmoJet dry powder inhaler to Sanofi-Aventis for an undisclosed sum and future royalties. The sale includes two asthma projects now under development. Sanofi will take on 50 Siegfried employees working to develop and produce PulmoJet in Munich and Höchstädt, Germany.



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