Belgian chemical maker Solvay has almost completed its acquisition of Rhodia, having obtained close to 95% of the French firm’s shares from shareholders. Solvay made its $4.5 billion cash offer to buy Rhodia in April. The acquisition will nearly double Solvay’s sales and instantly expand the firm’s business in developing markets. In the U.S., meanwhile, institutional cleaning products maker Ecolab can continue its acquisition of water treatment chemicals firm Nalco, thanks to an early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust waiting period granted by the Federal Trade Commission. Ecolab agreed to buy Nalco in July for $8.1 billion. Finally, conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway got clearance from European antitrust authorities to buy Ohio-based specialty chemical maker Lubrizol. Berkshire Hathaway said in March that it will pay $9.7 billion for the company. Overall, chemical firms are in a postrecession growth period, according to a recent report from consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Concerns about the global economy have moderated merger activity at the year’s halfway mark, the report says, but deals will likely accelerate in the third quarter.