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Azelis buys two in India

Azelis has acquired Spectrum Chemicals and Nortons Exim in India from the Mehta family on undisclosed terms. Both specialise in the distribution of speciality chemicals for home care, road markings, agrochemicals and other applications. Current owner Parindu Mehta will remain at the helm.

Sinochem-ChemChina merger is approved

China’s State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission (SASAC) has approved the long-planned merger of Sinochem and ChemChina. Partly to alleviate competition concerns, they will operate as separate subsidies of a newly created holding company owned by SASAC.

The combined entity will be by far the largest chemical producer in the world, with assets of about $245 billion. “This joint restructuring will create synergy, build up a world-class chemical company and promote a high-quality development of the chemical industry in China,” Sinochem said.

Novozymes enters biocontrol sector

Enzymes giant Novozymes has revealed that it is diversifying into biocontrol in agriculture. The company said that it sees this emerging sector as having huge growth potential, as pests continue to cause billions of dollars in damage to crops every year while pressure is continuing to restrict the use of chemical pesticides.

Sumitomo Chemical launches SynBio Hub

Shortly after handing over responsibility for biorational-related business to its Valent BioSciences (VBC) subsidiary in Illinois, Sumitomo Chemical has announced plans to establish SynBio Hub within its Biorational Research Centre. This is all part of the firm’s plans to build technologies using synthetic biology.

Brazilian plant nutrition buy for ICL

Israel’s ICL has agreed to acquire Fertiláqua, one of Brazil’s largest speciality plant nutrition companies from private equity firm Aqua Capital for about $120 million. The company said that this will expand its portfolio and significantly enhance its customer base and presence across agriculture regions in Brazil.

UPL unveils ‘Open Ag Centre’

India's UPL, which is now the world’s fifth largest agrochemical firm, has announced the opening of its ‘OpenAg Centre’ in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The company has already begun recruiting the 30 agricultural scientists and technical staff who will staff it.

Bayer resolves most Monsanto litigation

Bayer has made a series of agreements that, it said, “will substantially resolve” major outstanding Monsanto litigation at a cost it up to $5 billion in 2020, the same in 2021 and any more outstanding amounts in 2022. These have been unanimously approved by its board.

Most significantly, the company will pay $8.8-9.6 billion to resolve about 75% of the ongoing litigation related to the Roundup brand of glyphosate under a series of agreements. These contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing.

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