IHS Chemical Week


Chemical industry weekly news roundup, 30 Nov.

2:20 PM MST | November 30, 2012 | By LINDSAY FROST

This Week in CW:

Reckitt Benckiser (Slough, UK) has agreed to merge with Schiff Nutrition International (Salt Lake City), a provider of branded vitamins, nutrition supplements and nutrition bars in the US and globally, after Bayer decided to no longer pursue the deal. Reckett Benckiser will buy Schiff for $1.4 billion, with stockholders recommending an offer of $42/share. Bayer received a break-up fee of $22 million from Schiff following the deal.

BASF has completed the $1.02 billion acquisition of Becker Underwood, a biological seed treatment firm based in Ames, IA, from Norwest Equity Partners. The product portfolio includes biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition, and landscape colorants and coatings, and the deal was originally announced in September.

The investigation into possible anti-competitive licensing practices in the seed industry has been closed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) without any enforcement action taken. The investigation began in 2010 due to accusations of antitrust violations by Monsanto. The investigation was the first time US regulators studied competition in the seed market, which is highly consolidated.

Lonza says it has sold its performance urethanes and organics business, originally acquired with Arch Chemicals in 2011, to Monument Chemical (Indianapolis, IN). The divestment includes all assets of the business and its site located at Brandenburg, KY. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Around the Web:

According to Science Insider, the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) says the controversial study that examined the toxicity of genetically modified (GM) maize does not meet acceptable scientific standards, and there were flaws in several areas of the study. The study, published in September in Food and Chemical Toxicology, claimed to find a link between GM maize “NK603” and tumors and death in rats.

With the expectation that tax rates will increase next year, many companies are giving shareholders special year-end dividends, according to an interview on National Public Radio (NPR). NPR says the dividend tax rate for high earners could jump from 15 to 43%, leading to multiple investor payments.

According to NewScientist, researchers have accidentally formed transistors from flowing lithium atoms. The scientists determined that a transistor can now control the flow of atoms, rather than electrons—which can be used as a model to probe the electrical property of superconductivity. They can now observe the transition of atoms from non-superfluid to superfluid and use this to study the onset of superconductivity.

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