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UCB gets U.S. okay to buy Solutia chemicals biz

January 8, 2003
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WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Belgian drug and chemicals company UCB on Wednesday received clearance from U.S. antitrust authorities to acquire Solutia Inc.'s specialty chemicals business for $500 million.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said antitrust officials had ended their review of the deal without challenging it.

UCB is currently comprised of three divisions -- drugs, film and chemicals. But with the acquisition, it will now group together the chemicals and film businesses and maintain a separate drugs business.

The company had estimated annual revenues at the new "surface specialties" business, which makes chemicals for glue and resins for graphic arts, would total more than 1.5 billion euros worldwide.

Solutia, based in St. Louis, Missouri, had said it planned to pay down debt and save interest as a result of the deal. Approximately 1,700 employees in Solutia's resins, additives and adhesives business are expected to be transferred to UCB.

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