Sunday, 22 July 2018 - 8:06
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Chemistry

BASF to invest €10bn in China

German chemical company BASF announced that it is going to build a new integrated (verbund) chemical plant in China. This plant, which costs around €10bn, is expected to be put into operation by 2026. The venue is yet to be…

Ineos to make €2.7bn investment in 2 chemical plants in Europe

Chemical giant Ineos yesterday announced its intention to invest €2.7bn in two petrochemical plants. As a matter of fact, this is the largest investment ever made by the company, whose founder, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, is one of the richest men…

BASF to resume production of Vitamin A and E in Ludwigshafen plant

Yesterday, after months of inactivity, BASF resumed production of carotenoids, and vitamin A and E in Ludwigshafen plant. Yesterday the firm ended a Force Majeure declared last October, when a fire severely damaged said Citral production plant. Citral is an…

Joint chairman appointed for Chinese groups Sinochem and ChemChina

A report published today has announced that Ning Gaoning, top Chinese chemical company Sinochem Group’s current chairman, will also become chairman of big Chinese competitor ChemChina. This is a clear indication that the Chinese government is willing to merge the…

News hint at $120bn-worth Sinochem-ChemChina corporate merger

According to news spread yesterday by Chinese media, China’s chemical titans Sinochem and ChemChina are likely to merge, thus creating a $120bn-worth company. It is important to note that such a merger could also be approved by Chinese government, since…

Italmatch Chemicals sold to Bain Capital for €700m

  According to news spread yesterday evening, Italian chemicals maker Italmatch Chemicals was sold for €700m from French investor Ardian to private equity firm Bain Capital. Bain Capital defeated rival bids from two competitors, i.e. private equity firms Cinven and…

Saint Gobain renounces to acquire Sika but buys 10% stake

Saint-Gobain and Sika have announced today a complex agreement through which Saint Gobain has renounced to acquire the Switzerland-based competitor. As part of the agreement, Saint Gobain will purchase €3.22bn in shares currently owned by the Burkhard family and will…

PPG announces 1,100 job cuts globally

US-based coating giant has announced today a drastic cost reduction plan that will include dismissing a minimum of 1,100 employees globally. The measure reflects the rise in raw materials price, especially titanium dioxide, which is a key material to the…

Towards industrialization of enzyme digestion of PET

John McGeehan, researcher at the University of Portsmouth, and his team have published an article on Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about PETase enzyme engineering. PETase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of polyethylene terephthalate (PET)–contained in…

Wacker acquires biopharmaceuticals site in Luxembourg

The Germany-based chemical group Wacker Chemie AG has acquired a Dutch site for manufacturing vaccines and microbial products from Luxembourg-based SynCo. The plants’ high output–thanks to two fermentation lines with capacities of 1,500 and 270 liters, will allow Wacker to…

Solvay announces 600 job cuts globally

Belgium-based Solvay yesterday informed stock markets that it has started a reorganization plan especially involving its business in France. As part of the program, the company will reinforce its Lyon R&D site and its Brussels R&I site. By contrast, the…

European competition watchdog approves $66bn Bayer-Monsanto agreement

Bayer has been granted approval to the $66bn acquisition of Monsanto by the European antitrust authorities. The approval is subject to Bayer selling part of its assets–seeds and herbicides–to competitor BASF. Additionally, Bayer has committed to the European Commission to…

Chemical group Altana keeps growing: +8% in 2017 sales

Germany-based chemical group Altana has published its 2017 financial results, which confirm the positive momentum of the group owned by Susanne Klatten (BMW). When announcing the results, CEO Martin Babilas has reported a significant increase in sales and profits in…

Graphene hair dyes

The journal Chem has reported today a study by a team of scientists led by Jiaxing Huang, from Northwestern University, about the preparation of a graphene oxide gel and its use as hair dye. This original use of graphene reflects…

Andrew Liveris, DowDuPont CEO, steps down

Andrew Liveris, DowDupont CEO, has given up and will leave after 14 years as head of the US-based chemicals giant DowDuPont. Liveris will leave after years of pressure by the shareholder Third Point, an edge fund that had referred to…

Solvay makes expansion attempt in South America through acquisition

Brazilian economic-financial portal Valor Economico has reported today that Belgium-based multinational Solvay is looking for acquisition targets in South America. Solvay is targeting not only the group’s core segments, but also agrochemicals, petrochemicals and cosmetics. Solvay is currently generating approximately…

Saudi Aramco partners with Russia-based Sibur

Russian website Prime has reported that Russia-based chemical group Sibur and Saudi Arabia-based Saudi Aramco have entered into a partnership. As part of the agreement, a new elastomers and rubber production facility will be built in Saudi Arabia. The companies…

LyondellBasell acquires A. Schulman for $2.25bn

Chemicals multinational LyondellBasell has announced today it has acquired US-based A. Schulman, Inc. for $2.25bn. The acquisition strengthens LyondellBasell’s position in the plastics business, adding new composites and high-performance polymers to its pipeline. The price paid by LyondellBasell corresponds to…

2D materials fit for business?

7 years ago have passed since Andre Geim and Kostantin Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Price in Physics for the discovery of graphene, a two-dimensional material that has then become a celebrated wonder material. Graphene is the thinnest compound known…

Sabic purchases 25% in Clariant

Investor White Tale has sold its stake in Clariant to Saudi Arabia-based group Sabic, which becomes the largest shareholder of the Swiss group with approximately 25% of shares, currently worth about CHF2.3bn. Importantly, Sabic and Clariant are already partners in…

AkzoNobel and Axalta resume merger talks

Dutch daily De Financieele Telegraaf today has reported that Akzo Nobel and Axalta Coating Systems are in talks for a merger again. The newspaper has quoted a statement by Akzo’s chairman Antony Burgmans on the issue. The talks between the…

Wintershall (BASF) and DEA increasingly likely to merge

German economic-financial daily Handelsblatt today has reported that BASF is about to sign the merger agreement between its oil & gas subsidiary Wintershall and DEA group, a business of Letter One fund, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. The new…

Plan for Axalta-Nippon Paint merger of equals fails

US-based Axalta Coating yesterday announced that talks with competitor Nippon Paint on a potential merger of equals between the groups have failed. Axalta’ shares lost over 18% (Wall Street) soon after the announcement. Axalta some weeks ago announced that talks…

BASF unveils new plans for Whiteshall division (Oil&Gas)

The Germany-based chemical giant BASF announced on Friday that it plans to merge its Whiteshall oil & gas division with competitor DEA, then to list the new company resulting from the merger. Whiteshall is valued by experts at a minimum…

AkzoNobel confirms ongoing talks with Axalta

AkzoNobel today confirmed in a press release it has talks underway with competitor Axalta Coating, aimed at a merger of equals between the two coating giants. The merger would result in lower prices for raw materials, which would generate significant…

$20bn Clariant-Huntsman merger dismissed

Clariant and Huntsman this morning announced in a joint statement that they have dismissed their planned $20bn merger of equals. The decision reflects the tremendous pressure that some investors are putting on Clariant, including the White Tale Holdings fund, which…

BASF strikes its largest acquisition ever

Germany-based BASF some days ago announced its largest acquisition ever: indeed, the Ludwigshafen-based group last Friday reported it had successfully completed the negotiations to acquire a significant part of Bayer’s seed business for €5.9bn–that is 15x EBITDA. The acquired asset…

Merck KGaA presents strategy to investors, yet shares significantly drop

Germany-based Merck KGaA has presented this week its new strategy to investors. On the occasion, the management has confirmed the current year guidance, despite market conditions have considerably worsened for the Darmstadt-headquartered company. The management lowered the guidance in August,…