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Business Roundup

January 19, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 3

Gulf Resources will pay $80 million for Shouguang City Rongyuan Chemical, a producer of materials used in antibiotics. China-based Gulf says the acquisition will help mute cyclicality in its bromine business. Gulf saw its stock price drop 80% in 2011 after a U.S. research firm accused it of defrauding investors.

Albemarle has closed on its $6.2 billion acquisition of Rockwood Holdings. The purchase will give the specialty chemical maker a substantial foothold in lithium chemicals, which are used to make batteries for electric vehicles.

Clariant has acquired the 50% it didn’t already own of Companhia Brasileira de Bentonita, a Brazilian bentonite miner with more than 100 employees. Clariant says the mine will provide raw materials for its Brazilian business in bleaching earth, an absorbent clay.

Estron Chemical will build a $4.9 million process design and manufacturing support center in Calvert City, Ky. The 10,000-sq-ft facility, to be ready in mid-2016, will replace the firm’s 70-year-old building. Estron is a maker of specialty polymers for coatings, adhesives, and cosmetics.

SK Capital Partners has purchased a controlling interest in Halo Pharmaceutical for an undisclosed sum. Formed in 2008, Halo is based at a former Abbott Laboratories facility in Whippany, N.J. It provides drug development and manufacturing services, including pharmaceutical chemical production.

Takeda Pharmaceutical has expanded a pact with Mersana Therapeutics to create antibody-drug conjugates for cancer treatment. Mersana could now reap more than $300 million from the collaboration, which involves joining Takeda antibodies to drug payloads with the help of Mersana linkers.

Incyte will pay $60 million for access to therapeutic antibody discovery technology from Lexington, Mass.-based Agenus. Incyte says the combination of its small-molecule discovery expertise with Agenus’s technology will strengthen its ability to develop cancer treatments.

23andMe, a gene-sequencing company, has reached an agreement with Pfizer to enroll 5,000 people in a genotyping program expected to bring more insight into the genetics of lupus. Last August, the two firms started a similar research initiative on inflammatory bowel disease.



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