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Lonza moves further into ADCs

Lonza has opened the first of two manufacturing suites at its main site in Visp, Switzerland, for the manufacture of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) linkers or payloads. This came shortly after an unrelated deal to manufacture antibodies to treat COVID-19 for AstraZeneca and the arrival of a new CEO with a Big Pharma background.

IMCD to buy Peak International API business

IMCD has agreed to acquire the pharmaceutical business of Peak International Products, a Netherlands-based distributor of APIs in the Benelux, Vietnam, Germany and Israel. The business, which had sales of about €5.8 million in 2019, will be integrated into IMCD’s Pharmaceuticals business group.

Shortly before this, IMCD, the world’s fourth largest chemical distributor, completed the much larger acquisition of a 70% majority stake in Signet Excipients, a major Indian distributor of excipients, as part of its platform for further growth in India and the Asia-Pacific.

Merck KGaA in further OLED expansion

Merck KGaA, has announced a €20 million expansion of its OLED manufacturing capacity at sites in Pyeongtaek, Korea, and Shanghai, China. This comes in response to growing demand, the company said.

The investment will be spent on building a new modular production system to facilitate the installation of additional sublimation units. These units are central to material purity, which is one of the most important factors in the performance and lifetime of OLED devices.

Barentz to acquire Maroon Group, Nardev

Netherlands-based Barentz International, which is mainly a distributor of life science ingredients, has agreed to acquire Maroon Group of the US in a deal that will create a global force in the life science and broader specialty chemical industries. It has also acquired Singapore-based personal care product distributor Nardev. Financial terms were not disclosed in either transaction.

Construction starts on UPM biochemicals plant

Finnish paper giant UPM has officially begun construction of its Biochemicals’s division’s €550 million facility at Leuna, Germany. The plant is expected to start production by the end of 2022. At the World BioEconomy Forum in September, the investment won the award for Bio Act of the Year.

“The biorefinery in Leuna will be the nucleus for an entirely new and high-value growth business and opens totally new markets for UPM with large growth potential for the future,” said Jyrki Ovaska, EVP of Technology at UPM.

PQ Group sells Performance Materials to Jordan

PQ Group Holdings has agreed to sell its Performance Materials business, known as Potters Industries and a major producer of engineered glass materials, for $650 million to mid-market private equity firm Jordan Company. The deal should close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

ReSolute project launched

ReSolute, which is described as a “flagship EU project focused on creating a new, sustainably-sourced, safer alternative to traditional, fossil-based solvents”, officially launched on 15 October. Engineering work on its planned 1,000 tonnes/year levoglucosenone (LGO) plant somewhere in Eastern Europe begins in November, with commissioning expected at the end of 2022.

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