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Business Roundup

December 21, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 49

Merck KGaA has acquired Ormet Circuits, a San Diego-based start-up that makes conductive pastes used in semiconductor packaging. Merck had held a share in Ormet. The San Diego firm’s pastes, made with a sintering technology, are more reliable and less harmful to the environment than lead solder, according to Merck.

Platform Specialty Products has appointed Rakesh Sachdev as its CEO effective Jan. 5, 2016. He succeeds Daniel H. Leever, who earlier announced his retirement. Sachdev was CEO of Sigma-Aldrich until its recent acquisition by Merck KGaA. Platform has grown rapidly through acquisitions since its formation in 2013.

Ineos will acquire Befesa Valorización de Azufre, a Spanish producer of sulfuric acid. The Spanish firm’s 340,000-metric-ton-per-year plant in Bilbao will double Ineos’s H2SO4 capacity in Europe, Ineos says.

Inovyn, a chlorovinyls joint venture between Ineos and Solvay, will close its chloromethanes plant in Runcorn, England, by March 1, 2016, as part of a cost-cutting effort. The firm will continue to run chloromethanes facilities in Tavaux, France, and Rosignano, Italy.

Albany Molecular Research Inc. has acquired Whitehouse Laboratories, a Lebanon, N.J.-based specialist in chemical and materials testing, for $54 million. AMRI says the business will expand its regulatory quality and safety service offerings.

Ensyn, a developer of cellulosic fuels and chemicals, says its biorefinery project in Georgia has won a conditional $70 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The refinery will produce 75 million L per year of fuel oil from biomass.

Frutarom has agreed to buy the German savory flavors company Wiberg for $130 million. Wiberg will post sales this year of about $172 million. Frutarom has been on a growth tear recently, making 12 acquisitions in 2015 and reaching $1.1 billion in annual sales.

Ajinomoto Althea, a biopharmaceutical services business of Ajinomoto, will add antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) manufacturing in San Diego. The firm is building a 5,300-m2 plant as well as process and analytical development labs that will support ADC work.

X4 Pharmaceuticals has launched with $37.5 million in financing to develop CXCR4 inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. X4 is founded by a group of ex-Genzyme executives who licensed the compounds from Genzyme’s parent firm, Sanofi. The company expects to start clinical studies for its lead compound, X4P-001, in 2016.



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