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ESIM sells the ‘IM’ to Vertellus

Vertellus has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IM Chemicals, ESIM Chemicals’ intermediates and specialities division, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Terms were not disclosed.

CEO John Van Hulle described the deal as “directly in line with Vertellus’ strategy to become a leading global provider of specialty chemicals and solutions through both internal growth and acquisitions of complementary customer-focused businesses”.

Grace completes buy, invests in Malaysia

W.R. Grace & Co., which has itself just agreed to be acquired by Standard Industries Holdings for approximately $7 billion, has announced two further transactions. It has completed the $570 million acquisition of Albemarle Fine Chemistry Services and the expansion of its manufacturing plant in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Oxygen shortage forces stop at Hikal

Indian fine chemical and API firm Hikal has halted production of an unnamed product from its Crop Protection division at Taloja, near Mumbai, due to the current non-availability of industrial oxygen.

The company said that it anticipates an impact on sales of the product in question. It has kept customers informed and will work with them to make up for the shortfall in delivery in the coming quarters. Production will be ramped back up when industrial oxygen is available again.

Stepan opens agro centre

Stepan has opened its new Agricultural Innovation Centre in Barrow County, Georgia, near to its manufacturing site in Winder and to two major universities. The location was chosen in part for a temperate climate that will facilitate year-round testing. The centre will carry our collaborative R&D with customers in the sector. Key features include:

* A training centre for formulation development, including a virtual collaboration lab for real-time customer support and formulation training from any location with an Internet connection

Cambrex completes Estonia kilo lab

Cambrex has completed the upgrade of the kilo lab at its facility in Tallinn, Estonia, manufacture pharmaceutical intermediates to cGMP standards. The company said that this would “accelerate the progression and tech transfer of projects within the early clinical development phases”.

Kemira in double paper investment

Kemira has opened a new dry polymer polyacrylamide (DPAM) plant in Ulsan, South Korea, and has also begun the pre-engineering phase for a third alkenyl succinic anhydride (ASA) sizing agents line at Nanjing in China. Both investments are targeted at the growing paper and board packaging market in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ashland reviews adhesives

Ashland is to carry out strategic review of its Performance Adhesives business unit, with a sale among the options, aided by Citi. This is expected to be complete by the end of the year. CEO Guillermo Novo said that the business has “demonstrated exceptional financial performance” and that a combination of available finance, low interest rates and improving global macroeconomic conditions should “create a supportive backdrop” for the sale.

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