The Lubrizol Corp. (Wickliffe, OH) has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Noveon International Inc. (Cleveland), a supplier of coatings resins and other specialty chemicals, in a transaction valued at $1.84 billion. The acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close within three months. The deal would create a company with about $3.2 billion in combined annual sales. Lubrizol says Noveon would become a wholly owned subsidiary following completion of the acquisition.

BASF Coatings (Mount Olive, NJ) says it plans to expand coil-coatings operations in China with the addition of production capabilities in Shanghai. The company currently maintains sales, marketing and technical-service functions in China. In 2003, BASF opened a coil-coatings technical-service laboratory in Shanghai, but coatings products are imported from Germany.

Col-Met Spray Booths (Rockwall, TX) has moved to a state-of-the-art production facility in suburban Dallas. This is the third major expansion for the company. Manufacturing space has increased from 45,000 to 125,000 square feet, and the batch-type powder coating operation will be replaced with an automated conveyor system, allowing productivity to nearly triple for a single shift.

Malvern Instruments Ltd. (Malvern, UK) has entered into a distribution partnership with Parsum GmbH (Chemnitz, Germany). The agreement provides Malvern Instruments with worldwide distribution rights for Parsum in-line particle measurement systems and gives Malvern exclusivity in all areas except Germany, where the products will be available from both companies.

All divisions of The Vulcan Group (Birmingham, AL) have earned certification to the ISO 9001:2000 standard from Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, a culmination of about 18 months of upgrading processes.