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christa.jpg (5628 bytes) Chemical Industry News Editor Christa Semko
Every two weeks, Christa will bring you the latest chemical industry news from around the world.  If you have a press release that you'd like to share with us, please mail it to us through our online contact form here.

Dateline: September 16, 2010

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North America


Ecolab Inc. has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corp. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Dober’s commercial laundry business had 2009 sales of about $37 million.


Offer Declined

Airgas has once again declined a takeover offer from Air Products & Chemicals. Air Products’ new offer was $65.50/share. In February, the company launched a hostile takeover of Airgas for $60/share. In July, it raised its bid to $63.50. Airgas representatives have continue to say that the offers grossly undervalue the company.



Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire ZymoGenetics in a deal that values the company at $885 million. The acquisition is the latest in a series of targeted purchases designed to bolster Bristol-Myers’ portfolio of biopharmaceuticals. This purchase strengthens the company’s virology portfolio. Bristol-Myers is one of several companies trying to develop combinations of small-molecule antivirals in order to eliminate the need for interferon and ribavirin, the current standard of care in treating HCV.



Monsanto and Bunge will each invest $1.5 million in a seed fund that will invest in new technologies in energy and agriculture. The fund, called Nidus Investment Partners, hopes to raise $9 million - $12 million from six to eight corporations. Monsanto and Bunge are the first companies to publicly commit money to the effort. Nidus will invest up to $250,000 per new technology in the areas of carbon capture, alternative energy, and biofuels processing. The partnership will screen up to 100 technologies each year and then invest in five to 10 of them.



Lonza has acquired Vivante GMP Solutions. Vivante is focused on the new field of virus-delivered therapeutics. Virus-based drugs, which include vaccines and gene therapies, use a deactivated virus to deliver active ingredients inside targeted cells. According to a company spokesperson, the acquisition will enable Lonza to accelerate its entry into the viral-based manufacturing arena.


Biologic Drugs

ScinoPharm is taking its initial steps into the realm of biologic drugs. The firm has made an investment of an undisclosed size in Tanvex Biologics. Hardy Chan, co-founder and chief scientific officer of ScinoPharm, will become Tanvex’ CEO. Tanvex is building a manufacturing facility in San Diego and will have research centers in both the U.S. and Taiwan’s Nankang Software Park.


Plant Construction

Keyuan Petrochemicals, Inc. has commenced construction of its first Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) production facility in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. The plant will be adjacent to the company’s current production facility. The new SBS facility is expected to add 70,000 metric tons to Keyuan’s production capacity by the end of 2011. The company estimates a $17.5 million capital expenditure investment.


Plant Expansion

Foster Wheeler AG’s Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded a contract by Gulf Farabi Petrochemical Company for the provision of project management consultancy services for Gulf Farabi’s Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) plant expansion in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The contract value was not disclosed. The new plant will have a production capacity of 100,000 tons/year of LAB.

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