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Business Roundup

May 30, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 22

Syngenta will spend $71 million to construct a new research facility adjacent to its existing campus in Research Triangle Park, N.C. To open in the second half of 2012, the center will focus on discovering and developing agronomic traits to help plants better tolerate climate variability and drought stress.

Huntsman Corp. has licensed technology for the production of propylene oxide and methyl tert-butyl ether to China’s Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes. Wanhua plans to use the technology in a world-scale plant set to open late in 2012.

Novozymes and China’s Meihua Group will develop a process for turning agricultural residues into sugars that can be fermented to yield amino acids. The companies seek a process that yields lysine, glutamic acid, and threonine, all commonly used as food additives. Meihua is one of China’s leading monosodium glutamate producers.

Georgia-Pacific Chemicals will expand a plant in Lufkin, Texas, that produces resins used in making proppants, which are coated sand grains used to extract oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing. The firm says it is exploring other opportunities to expand proppant output.

AkzoNobel has opened a research laboratory in Deventer, the Netherlands, that will house more than 200 top researchers. The facility is one of six global R&D centers that are working with the firm’s businesses to boost sales of innovative products from 9% of sales to more than 15% of sales by 2015.

Ceres, a developer of seeds for energy crops, has filed for an initial public offering of stock worth up to $100 million. In its filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, the company says its first product will be sweet sorghum that can extend the operating season of Brazilian sugarcane-to-ethanol mills.

Sigma-Aldrich has purchased Brazil’s Vetec Química Fina, a supplier of specialty chemicals for academic and industrial markets. The acquisition will add more than 3,000 products used in lab and manufacturing applications. Vetec has more than 200 employees at its Xerem site near Rio de Janeiro.

Johnson & Johnson’s Cilag division has agreed to buy Rinza, Russia’s leading over-the-counter cough and cold medicine brand, from Mumbai-based J.B. Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals for $260 million. Cilag also gets the number two cold medicine in Russia.

Par Pharmaceutical has agreed to buy privately held Edict Pharmaceuticals, based in Chennai, India, for up to $38 million in cash and some repayment of debt. Edict develops and makes solid oral-dosage forms of generic drugs with a focus on niche first-to-file, first-to-market formulations.



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