IHS Chemical Week


Chemical industry weekly news roundup, 3 July

11:02 AM MDT | July 3, 2013 | By LINDSAY FROST

This Week in CW:

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a former Dow Chemical information technology executive and two others with insider ahead of Dow’s $18.8-billion acquisition of Rohm and Haas. The SEC's complaint charges Mack Murrell, who was v.p./information systems when the Rohm and Haas acquisition was announced in July 2008, obtained confidential details about the acquisition from his then live-in girlfriend, now wife, Stacey Murrell, who was administrative assistant to Dow's CFO at the time.

Univation Technologies has given more details about a previously announced technology award for 3 grassroots polyethylene (PE) lines planned by Al Sejeel, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Qatar Petrochemical Co. (Qapco) at Ras Laffan.  Univation is providing its Unipol PE process for 3 PE plants with combined capacity of 1.59 million m.t./year. The Al Sejeel project will have capacity to produce 2.2 million m.t./year of polymers, including PE and polypropylene (PP). Dow Chemical is providing its PP technology. Completion is slated for 2018.

KMG Chemicals president and CEO J. Neil Butler will resign from his executive and director positions, effective 10 July, the company’s board of directors announced on 28 June.  Christopher Fraser, chairman of KMG’s board of directors, has been appointed interim president and CEO, to lead the company until a successor is in place.

A. Schulman on 3 July announced that has dropped its bid for Ferro, about 4 months after it had offered $563 million for the company. A. Schulman approached Ferro’s board late last year and made a formal offer in March but both offers were rejected.

Aspen (Durban, South Africa), the ninth-largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world, says it has signed an agreement with Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ), which is called MSD outside the United States and Canada, for the acquisition of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business, which is located in the Netherlands with a satellite facility and sales office in the United States. The transaction is valued at about $1 billion, Aspen says. The Aspen announcement about the acquisition confirms earlier reports.

Around the Web:

According to a survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), written about in BBC News, Business confidence in the UK is at its highest level since 2007, indicating that the UK’s economic recovery is strengthening. The BCC also said export sales had grown by their fastest rate since it began publishing the survey in 1989, and it now expects GDP to grow by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2013.

An article in Bloomberg says that business activity in the US cooled more than projected in June, as fiscal constraints and stagnant export markets buffeted manufacturers. The MNI Chicago Report’s business barometer dropped to 51.6 this month from 58.7 in May, which was the highest in more than a year The Chicago index has been out of sync with other regional factory reports, surging in May when others pointed to a slump, and dropping this month as measures from the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Philadelphia point to a rebound.

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