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Business Roundup

March 18, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 11

Westlake Chemical has agreed to buy CertainTeed’s polyvinyl chloride pipe, fittings, and foundations business for $175 million. The business, which makes pipe for municipal, water well, mining, agriculture, and irrigation uses, generates annual earnings before taxes of $24 million.

Spectris has acquired near-infrared spectroscopy instrument maker ASD for $14 million and may pay an additional $19 million to former owners if certain sales targets are met. Spectris will integrate ASD with its PAN­alytical X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry unit.

Volkswagen has signed a four-year development agreement with hydrogen-fuel-cell maker Ballard Power Systems to advance the use of fuel cells in the automaker’s research program. Ballard, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, says the deal is worth between $60 million and $100 million.

Calgon Carbon has agreed to nominate Louis S. Massimo, former Arch Chemicals chief operating officer, to its board; he will represent dissident shareholder Starboard Value. The firm also amended its “poison pill” plan so it is not triggered until an acquirer obtains 15% of the company’s shares, up from 10%.

Ineos and Sinopec have reached an agreement in principle on how to structure their previously announced joint venture to produce cumene, phenol, and acetone in Nanjing, China. The project’s environmental assessment was approved by the relevant authorities in December.

Solvay has inked a deal to supply AkzoNobel with up to 10,000 metric tons annually of solvents bio­butanol and bio­acetone and their derivatives for paint formulations by 2017. The formulations are being tested in Brazil and will be extended globally, AkzoNobel says.

Shire has acquired Premacure, a Swedish biotech firm developing a protein replacement therapy, currently in Phase II trial, for an eye disorder that affects infants who are born prematurely. Shire says the purchase, for an undisclosed sum, furthers its push into the rare-diseases field.

SR One, GlaxoSmithKline’s venture capital arm, has agreed to provide Stevenage, England-based start-up Progenitor Labs with $5.8 million to develop drugs for regenerating specific tissues in the human body. Progenitor is developing small-molecule drugs for a number of diseases that potentially have technical, commercial, and regulatory advantages over cell therapies.

Roche has ended its cystic fibrosis collaboration with Galapagos and will pay the Belgian biotech firm $7.5 million for work completed in 2012. Galapagos regains the rights to cystic fibrosis assays and targets found through the collaboration, which began in December 2009; it says it will look for a new partner.



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