Merck KGaA says the European Commission has approved the sale of select Sigma-Aldrich lab solvents and inorganic chemicals businesses to Honeywell International. The action removes the last impediment to Merck’s $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, which is scheduled to be completed Nov. 18.
Air Products & Chemicals has selected the name Versum Materials for the material technologies businesses it intends to spin off to shareholders by September 2016. The name comes from the Latin word for “toward” and indicates the new entity’s commitment to move toward cutting-edge solutions and materials.
Cabot Corp. will close its carbon black manufacturing operations in Merak, Indonesia, by the end of January 2016. To account for the closure, Cabot will take a $33 million charge against earnings.
Oxiteno, a Brazilian specialty chemical maker, will invest $113 million to build a 170,000-metric-ton-per-year alkoxylation plant in Texas by 2017. The company says the surfactants produced will be used in agrochemicals, personal care, cleaning, coatings, and oil and gas markets.
Almac Group will take over the formulation development and analytical testing facilities of AstraZeneca’s former R&D center in Charnwood, England, which has been shuttered since 2012. The Northern Irish firm is investing $24 million to recommission facilities at the 70-acre site by 2017 and hopes to eventually employ 180 people there.
Indorama, the Thai polyester producer, has agreed to buy a site in Spain that makes purified terephthalic acid, purified isophthalic acid, and polyethylene terephthalate from the Spanish energy and chemicals firm Cepsa. Indorama bought a PTA plant in Quebec from Cepsa earlier this year.
GlaxoSmithKline and Avalon Ventures have expanded their $465 million collaboration to create and fund start-ups, increasing the amount they may invest in new companies. The partners also just launched a seventh company called Iron Horse Therapeutics, which is developing treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that modulate EphA4 protein activity.
Daewoong, the South Korean respiratory therapy specialist, has renewed its contract with Edmond Pharma, a division of Recipharm, for the manufacturing of the active pharmaceutical ingredient for erdosteine. Under the new contract, which extends to 2025, Daewoong will purchase minimum API quantities from Edmond Pharma of about $27 million over 10 years.