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JM to exit pharma?

In a pre-close trading update for the financial year ended 31 March 2021, Johnson Matthey (JM) CEO Robert MacLeod revealed that: “We have commenced a strategic review of Health, as we continue to focus resources to maximise value for our shareholders”.

Full results will be announced on 27 May but it is known that Health, which offers API custom manufacturing services, controlled substances, catalysts and generics, generated sales of £223 million, about 5% of the total sale. The division’s full-year operating performance is expected to be above the prior year.

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.

40 North makes “best and final” offer for Grace

The five-month saga in which activist shareholder 40 North Management has sought to take over W.R. Grace & Co. appears set to be resolved one way or another after 40 North made what it described as its “best and final” offer of $70/share on 7 April. This values the company at about $4.6 billion. With Grace’s cooperation, 40 North said, it will be set to sign a definitive agreement within two weeks.

DSM buys Amyris F&F ingredients

DSM has agreed to acquire the biobased flavour and fragrance (F&F) intermediates business of synthetic biotechnology company Amyris. This comprises seven products, of which four are “already generating meaningful sales”, two newly launched and one under development. They will be added to the DSM’s Personal Care & Aroma Ingredients activities, extending its offer to the F&F and cosmetics industries.

KD Pharma buys RohnerChem site

German CDMO KD Pharma, which is one of the world’s largest producers of omega-3 fatty acids has acquired the assets of former CDMO RohnerChem at Pratteln, near Basel, Switzerland (pictured), and hired some of the former team. Terms were not disclosed.

KD said that it aims to become an even bigger player and that the site’s “unique chemical processes and technological capabilities” enabled it “to manufacture difficult, multi-step pharmaceutical intermediates and APIs. This is a natural fit with our strategy.”

Lanxess enters battery chemistry

Lanxess has announced that it will be entering the battery chemistry business from 2022. It will produce electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries for China’s Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology using a plant operated by Saltigo in Germany. Further details were not disclosed.

Archroma, Huntsman in textile alliances

Archroma and Huntsman Textile Effects have both announced alliances in textile technology. The former has joined Jeanologia to launch the Pad-Ox G2 Cold dyeing process, while the latter has formed a strategic partnership with Sciessent in antimicrobial and odour-control technology.

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