Evonik is making a “mid-double-digit million euro investment” in a production facility for its Aeroxide brand of fumed aluminium oxide at its site in Yokkaichi, Japan (pictured). This will be its first alumina plant in Asia and will be geared to making ultra-thin separator coatings the next generation lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Construction will begin this summer for a scheduled opening in 2025.
Subject to usual closing conditions, Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical is to acquire FBSciences, a US-based firm which makes naturally-derived biostimulants and biopesticides via proprietary methods. No financial terms or timelines have been disclosed.
Sumitomo values the biorationals market, the class of products in which biostimulants form the largest part at about $10 billion. This is about 10% of the size of the conventional agrochemicals market, but it has been enjoying far stronger growth.
French greentech firm Afyren has signed a deal with Thailand’s Mitr Phol, the world’s third largest sugar producer, under which they will form a 70-30 joint venture to build a biorefinery at the latter’s site near Bangkok. This is Afyren’s first project outside France and follows on from a recent IPO.
The CABB Group has said that it will invest over €50 million by 2025 to expand facilities at its agrochemical manufacturing site in Kokkola, Finland. Eight new chemical reactors and a new packaging plant were commissioned in September, largely as a result of a long-term supply contract with a new customer from the crop protection industry. Further ‘double-digit millions’ investments are currently being made or in the pipeline.
New Delhi-based Safex Chemicals has acquired UK-based agrochemical CDMO Briar Chemicals from pan-European alternative investment firm Aurelius in a £73 million deal. Safex is itself backed by a private equity firm, ChrysCapital, and supplies crop protection chemicals. This is its first overseas acquisition.
Swamini Kulkarni of Allied Market Research looks at the different types of agricultural adjuvants available and the increased popularity of silicones
Over the years, the agricultural sector has witnessed numerous technological innovations to improve the overall performance of agrochemicals and increase agricultural yield. The major contributor to this is agricultural adjuvants, a type of additive that is added to agrochemicals or other crop production products to improve their performance.
SK Capital Partners have made an investment in VanDeMark Chemical in partnership with Comvest Partners, which has been a co-owner since 2019. The amount involved was not disclosed but VanDeMark said that this would “serve as a catalyst for a new strategic direction as the company seeks to deepen and expand its presence in fine chemistries for the global life science market”.