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Sunday, 24 March 2019 - 6:20

Chemistry

JV between Saudi Aramco and Petronas ($20bn)

The petrochemical groups Saudi Aramco and Petronas are about to create a Joint Venture in order to develop exploration and oil refining projects near Singapore, worth $20bn. The companies had already been in talks for a long time to develop…

A revolutionary antimicrobial alternative to conventional antibiotics

A team of researchers at the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design in Sidney reported the synthesis of an antimicrobial in the form of single-chain polymeric nanoparticles (SCPNs), that shows excellent activity against Gram-negative bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, even at…

Clariant keeps growing and is increasingly efficient

Switzerland-based multinational Clariant improved its profitability in 2016 (+16%) thanks to a strict price-cut program and an increase in the sales of specialty chemicals. Thus, it has proposed a 12% dividend increase. Sales increased by 2% (constant currencies) to CHF5.84bn…

Reckitt Benckiser bids $16.7bn for Mead Johnson

UK-based consumer goods producer Reckitt Benckiser yesterday announced it has made a $16.7bn bid for Illinois, US-based baby formula maker Mead Johnson. The bid corresponds to $90 per share, that is to say a 30% premium to Mead Johnson’s closing…

Akzo Nobel to increase activity in biopolymer business

Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel has signed an agreement (JDA) with Itaconix in order to develop their respective businesses of biopolymers based on Itaconic acid, a bicarboxylic aliphatic acid. According to the agreement terms, Itaconix will contribute a proprietary polymerization technology for…

Archroma looking for buyers (CHF1.5bn)

Swiss-based Archroma has been put up for sale by its private equity owner. The company could be valued at as much as CHF1.5bn including debt, Reuters reported. Prospective buyers include private equities such as Blackstone, Advent, Cinven, Apollo and CVC….

The evolution of Russian giant Sibur

This is a period of great changes for Russian chemistry giant Sibur. Reliance Sibur Elastomer, the JV between Sibur and India-based Reliance Industries Limited, announced some days ago it plans to build a plant producing butilic halogenated rubber in its…

IPO for Huntsman Corporation’s spin-off (TiO2) expected soon

Huntsman Corporation announced—contrary to a previous statement—that it has decided to retain the Textile Effects business and exclude it from its new spin-off, which will be named Venator Materials. The new company will take over the whole businesses of the…

European antitrust authorities’ view on mega mergers ($222bn)

The European antitrust authorities are reportedly assessing three large mergers announced last year in the chemistry business, for a total value of as much as €222bn. These transactions are the $122bn Dow Chemical-DuPont merger, Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto ($57bn), and…

$112Bn Sinochem-ChemChina merger dismissed

Sinochem denied, through its CEO, merger plans with its competitor ChemChina, dismissing rumors on ongoing talks between the top managements of the two Chinese state-owned groups. A merger would probably jeopardize the acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina ($44bn). The takeover,…

Lanxess convinces investors

Since when Matthias Zachert was appointed as Lanxess CEO in 2014, the Leverkusen-based group has recovered from a severe crisis and has achieved a leading position in the market, with the company’s share value having doubled over 2016. The successful…

AlzChem to be listed soon

Germany-based AlzChem AG announced it is targeting an IPO in the Frankfurt stock exchange before next June. 50% of the company will be listed and the proceeds will be invested in the construction of a new production facility for CreAMINO…

Review proves that curcumin has no therapeutic properties

A major review published on the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry seeks to draw a definite conclusion on curcumin. Over the years, many scientists have focused on curcumin as a possible therapeutic molecule, however they have never succeeded in demonstrating its…

JV between Toray and Mitsui Sugar

Toray Industries and Mitsui Sugar Co. announced they have established a joint venture in Thailand, named Cellulosic Biomass Technology Co., which will focus on developing and marketing chemical products obtained from fermentation processes in biomass. The JV will use Toray’s…

Hard times for BASF

The German financial daily Wirtschaftswoche published a long article about the chemistry giant BASF. When Kurt Bock moved into the lead of the Ludwigshafen-based group, the outlook was far different from the current one. For instance, Bock predicted that the…

SGL carbon to sell a US plant to Mitsubishi Rayon

Mitsubishi Rayon has acquired Evanston, Wyoming-based SGL Carbon Fibers LLC, owned by SGL group (Wiesbaden). The parties have not provided the financial details of the transaction, however the Japanese press (Nihon Keizai Shimbun) believes Mitsubishi to have paid tens of…

Aromyx proposes a revolutionary approach to digital scent technology

German weekly Wirtschaftswoche published a long article about the Palo Alto, US-based startup Aromyx which, after a three-year development, has launched the beta release of a chip analyzing the response a scent generates on human receptors and developing the recipe…

First plant converting CO2 into baking soda started in India

A coal-fired power station recently started in the Indian city of Tuticorin converts the CO2 produced by the same plant into baking soda. State-of-the-art plants do have carbon capture schemes, which typically use amine, storing CO2 and preventing it from…

2017 to be a crucial year for sugar industry

2017 will be a crucial year for the sugar industry in Europe. Indeed, as of October 1, the annual sugar production cap of 13.5 billion tons pa set in 1968 will be lifted. By eliminating such limit, the minimum price…

Petrobras to sell assets to clear high debt

Brazil-based oil company Petrobras announced it has sold its stake in Guarani SA-45.97%-to France’s Tereos Internacional for $202m. Guarani is a Brazilian producer of sugar and ethanol from renewable energy. Simultaneously, the company has also sold Petroquimica Suaper and Citepe…

Monolayer boron nitride for indoor formaldehyde removal

Formaldehyde (HCHO) is often found in high concentrations in indoor settings. It is mainly emitted from paints used for furniture and long-term exposure to it may cause serious problems to the respiratory system and even cause cancer. Several technologies for…

New stevia sweetener by Evolva

Switzerland-based biotech Evolva (Reinach) announced it has received a Notice of Allowance for the patent application for its novel stevia-derived sweetener co-developed with Cargill. The market welcomed the announcement and Evolva’s shares (Zurich) immediately rose by over 50%. Specifically, this…

Revolution in BASF’s board

BASF’s board has undergone a revolution. Margret Suckale, 60, the first woman to join the board, will not renew her contract, expiring next May. She will be replaced by another woman, Saori Dubourg, born to a Japanese mother and a…

$65bn merger of equals between Praxair and Linde

Praxair and Linde announced today a merger of equals (50:50), meeting widespread expectations. The deal creates a $65bn-worth group, the world’s largest supplier of industrial and medical gases. The new entity will have its headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut, while its…

Lonza close to deal to acquire Capsugel

Switzerland-based group Lonza is now close to acquire Capsugel, the same Lonza confirmed today in a brief press release, adding it has a strong interest in the US-based (New Jersey) company, owned by private-equity KKR & Co. According to experts,…

PPG to cut 1,700 jobs worldwide

PPG announced a severe staff cut which will include 3.6% of the Pittsburgh-headquartered group’s workforce, or approximately 1,700 layoffs. The cuts will be spread across all geographic regions and will focus on units whose performances are not meeting expectations. Remarkably,…

Lonza to divest peptides business to PolyPeptide

Lonza divested nearly all of its peptides business to Sweden-based PolyPeptide. The Braine-l’Alleud facility, Belgium, employing a workforce of 280 and developing and producing new peptides, is part of the transaction. Lonza acquired the site from UCB in 2006. The…

Wacker likely to sell Siltronic to Chinese group

Wacker Chemie is increasingly determined to sell its stake (58%) in silicon-wafer maker Siltronic, the potential buyer being a China-based group such as National Silicon Industry Group (NSIG). Siltronic employs approximately 3,800 staff and is one of the major silicon…