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Business Roundup

February 3, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 5

BASF and China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) have started construction of a plant in Maoming, in southern China, that will produce isononyl alcohol, a material used in making plasticizers. The plant will be operated as a 50-50 venture of the two firms.

Asahi Glass will build a plant in Chiba, Japan, that will produce HFO-1234yf, a fluorochemical with a low global-warming potential. Asahi Glass will supply the auto air-conditioning gas to Honeywell, a major provider of gases for refrigeration systems.

Perstorp, a Sweden-based chemical maker, plans to eliminate 111 jobs, 62 of which are in Sweden. The company says changes are necessary because of deteriorating financial performance.

IP Group, a London-based venture capital firm, has extended a commercial agreement with England’s University of Manchester to include proof-of-principle funding for graphene technology projects. Additionally, the firm plans to increase its funding for the early commercialization of technologies originating in the university to $12 million, up from $8 million.

Makhteshim Agan Industries, an Israeli off-patent agricultural chemical maker, will change its name to Adama Agricultural Solutions. Adama is the Hebrew word for earth. China National Chemical (ChemChina) owns a majority stake in Makhteshim.

Eastman Chemical has agreed to buy BP’s aviation turbine engine oil business. The BP business, which has annual revenues of $100 million, operates a plant in Linden, N.J. The business will be combined with Eastman’s Skydrol hydraulic fluids business.

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute has been given $275 million, payable over 10 years, by an anonymous donor. The money will help support the La Jolla, Calif.-based nonprofit’s recently unveiled 10-year strategic plan, which calls for a quicker pace of discoveries. The gift is a major step toward the institute’s goal of raising $500 million over the next decade.

Catalent Pharma Solutions, a pharmaceutical contract services firm, has filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. Catalent, formed in 2007 when Blackstone purchased the pharmaceutical technology services of Cardinal Health, had sales of $1.8 billion last year but reported a $46.7 million loss. Quintiles, another pharma services firm, succeeded in raising $947 million last year.



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