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Business Roundup

January 18, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 3

LG Chem will pay $432 million to acquire Dongbu Farm Hannong, one of South Korea’s largest farming and gardening materials producers. The company’s diversified portfolio includes generic agrochemicals, fertilizers, seeds, animal health care products, and potting soil.

Westlake Chemical Partners will expand ethylene capacity at its Calvert City, Ky., site by 32,000 metric tons per year through improvement projects that will be completed in the first half of 2017. Current capacity at the site is about 290,000 metric tons.

PPG Industries is expanding silica capacity at its Lake Charles, La., plant by 10,000 metric tons per year. Set for completion during the second half of this year, the project is meant to meet growing demand for silica in tire, industrial, and other applications.

Celanese plans to increase capacity for GUR brand ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene to 38,000 metric tons per year at its Bishop, Texas, facility. Motivating the project, which should be completed in May, is growing demand for the polymer in lithium-ion batteries and medical and filtration applications.

Frutarom, the acquisitive Israeli flavors maker, has acquired New Jersey-based Grow Co. for $20 million. Grow makes ingredients that improve the body’s absorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Frutarom says the purchase will strengthen its portfolio of natural products for the food and health sectors.

Melior Innovations, a Houston-based start-up, has raised $3.5 million from undisclosed investors. Melior has developed a new kind of proppant, which are particles used in hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. It says its material is strong but lighter than competing sand and ceramic products.

CEFIC, Europe’s largest chemical industry association, has appointed Marco Mensink, currently director general of the Confederation of European Paper Industries, as its new director general. Mensink will start the job on May 1, replacing the retiring Hubert Mandery.

Hyosung of South Korea will spend $166 million to build a 2,500-metric-ton-per-year nitrogen trifluoride plant in Quzhou, China, by late 2017. The firm is also expanding capacity for the gas, used in electronics manufacturing, by half that much at its site in Ulsan, South Korea. That capacity will come on-line in March.

Moderna Therapeutics will work with AstraZeneca and its MedImmune arm to discover and develop messenger RNA drugs for cancer treatment. The agreement adds to a 2013 pact between the two firms centered on mRNA drugs for cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal disease.



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