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Specialty Chemicals Round Up, Sept. 23-29
September 29, 2011 | By KERRI WALSH
H.B. Fuller kicked off the earnings season with improved sales and earnings, but says volumes are weakening. reported net income up 22%, to $23.2 million (47 cts/share), on sales up 15%, to $388 million, for its fiscal third quarter ended August 27, helped mostly by improved selling prices. Fuller met analysts’ consensus estimate of 47 cts/share as reported by Thomson Reuters. Operating income rose 43%, to $32.4 million. Higher average selling prices and favorable currency exchange rates accounted for 11 and 6 percentage points of the sales gain, respectively. Lower volumes, however, reduced sales growth by 2 percentage points. Sales fell about 2% compared with the second quarter of 2011, because of softer end-market demand, especially in Europe, India, Mideast, and Africa.
Lonza says it has obtained antitrust clearance from the Autorité de la Concurrence in France for its tender offer, through its LG Acquisition Corp. subsidiary, for all outstanding shares of biocides maker Arch Chemicals (Norwalk, CT). Lonza launched the tender for all of Arch’s outstanding shares on July 15 for $47.20/share in cash.
Albemarle has formed an environmental division, grouping together its efforts in air pollution control. The business supplies powder activated carbon (PAC) sorbents, advanced sorbent injection systems, bromine chemicals for mercury removal, and testing and demonstration services to the coal-fired utility, cement kiln, and industrial boiler markets.
Clariant’s personal care unit has entered the renewable raw materials market through a long-term partnership with privately held biopolymers producer KitoZyme (Liège, Belgium). The deal includes plans for KitoZyme to manufacture biopolymers at Liège for Clariant, and Clariant will market KitoZyme’s biopolymers to the personal care sector. The biopolymers; which include chitosan, chitin-glucan, and their derivatives; will be available beginning next month. Financial terms and the duration of the deal were not disclosed.
PPG Industries says it will increase global capacity of precipitated silica by 18,000 tons/year due to growing global demand. The capacity expansion includes projects at PPG’s production facilities at Lake Charles, LA, and Delfzijl, the Netherlands.