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Business Roundup

October 9, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 40

Bayer has ceded control of Covestro, its former plastics business, after selling an additional 6.9% stake in the firm. The sale, which raised $1.2 billion, reduces Bayer’s stake in Covestro to 24.6%.

Stamicarbon, a Dutch urea technology licensor, has invested $5.5 million in the U.S. start-up Pursell Agri-Tech. Pursell is developing a low-cost coating for controlled-release fertilizers.

Delaware Innovation Space, a business incubator set up by DowDuPont, the University of Delaware, and the State of Delaware, has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The award will help adapt a research building at DowDuPont’s Experimental Station to support small-business innovations.

Lanxess will cease production of lubricant precursors in Ankerweg, the Netherlands, by November 2018. Part of Lanxess’s Chemtura acquisition, the site is operated by a staff of 100.

Kemira and China’s Tiancheng Wanfeng Chemical Technology are forming an $80 million joint venture that will combine their fatty acid chloride and alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) wax businesses in Yanzhou, China. Made from fatty acid chloride, AKD helps paper resist liquid absorption.

Avara Pharmaceutical Services has agreed to acquire a GlaxoSmithKline plant in Aiken, S.C., that makes solid-dose, over-the-counter drugs. Solid-dose capabilities are in high demand in the U.S., according to Avara.

Wacker Chemie will build a spray dryer and an additional reactor for vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer-based powder dispersions in Ulsan, South Korea. The $94 million project will double the site’s capacity for the dispersions, used to make construction mortar.

Arbutus Biopharma has received $116 million from Roivant Sciences, an investment vehicle founded by Vivek Ramaswamy. Arbutus will use the funds to further develop its hepatitis B virus treatments and RNA-based drug delivery technology. Ramaswamy was an early investor in OnCore Biopharma, which merged with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals to form Arbutus.


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