Akzo Nobel (Arnhem, the Netherlands) has completed the sale of its Catalysts and Phosphorus Chemicals businesses for a total of 850 million euros, free of cash and debt, and prior to final closing adjustments for working capital. Both deals involve all assets and all current employees of the companies. "The company's drive to create more financial room to maneuver is on track," says Hans Wijers, chairman of Akzo Nobel's board of management.

Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany) has announced a name change of Bayer Polymers L.L.C. to Bayer MaterialScience L.L.C., in response to a Bayer Group reorganization announced in November 2003. In the reorganization, Bayer announced that its activities would be grouped into three businesses: Bayer MaterialScience, Bayer Healthcare and Bayer CropScience. The MaterialScience business, based in Pittsburgh, includes the company's coatings, adhesives, sealants and polyurethanes products.

Lyondell Chemical Co. (Houston) has obtained European Commission antitrust clearance for the company's acquisition of Millennium Chemicals Inc. for $1 billion in stock, according to news reports in Europe. Lyondell says completion of the acquisition is anticipated in the third quarter. The merger will combine two large U.S. chemical companies that hold major positions in various commodity and specialty chemicals, including titanium dioxide, propylene oxide, acetyls, vinyl acetate monomer, cadmium pigments and other materials. The combined company will retain the Lyondell name and will be based in Houston, Lyondell says.

Lubrizol Corp. (Wickliffe, OH) has completed the acquisition of Noveon International Inc., a supplier of coatings resins and other specialty chemicals, in a transaction valued at $1.84 billion. Noveon will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Lubrizol, and will be headed by Donald Bogus, who formerly led Lubrizol's Fluid Technologies for Industry division.

Akzo Nobel Coatings (Arnhem, the Netherlands) has sold its French industrial resins business to Derivados Forestales S.A., a Spanish company. Trading under the name Casco Industrie SnC., the company had sales of 17 million euros in 2003. The industrial resins operations in France had become strategically distanced from Akzo Nobel's coatings portfolio, Akzo Nobel says. It added that the move will allow the Spanish company to grow the resins business and allow Akzo Nobel to focus more on the wood adhesives sector in Southern Europe.

Wattyl Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) says it will sell its remaining U.S. coatings operations, which include the architectural-coatings company Coronado Paint Co. Inc., based in Edgewater, FL, and Lenmar Inc., a manufacturer of lacquers and polyurethane coatings based in Baltimore. Last year Wattyl sold its Wasser High-Tech Coatings business, based in Kent, WA, to a private investment group that owns several other North American coatings businesses.