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Sep 17, 2010

Johnson & Johnson aims to buy out Crucell

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – U.S. health care company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is in talks to pay 1.75 billion euros ($2.3 billion) for the shares in Dutch biotech Crucell (CRCL.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) it does not already own to strengthen its vaccine business.

Johnson and Johnson, which already owns a 17.9 percent stake in vaccine maker Crucell, said on Friday its potential cash offer would value Crucell shares at 24.75 euros, a 58 percent premium to Thursday’s closing price.

Sep 16, 2010

DSM to boost growth, looking to avoid takeover

AMSTERDAM, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Dutch chemicals group DSM
(DSMN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is tipped to unveil new growth targets next week as
part of a strategy update while analysts warn the company must
move swiftly on acquisitions or risk being taken over itself.

In two previous five-year strategy updates, DSM signalled a
change away from bulk chemicals to higher-margin life sciences
and materials sciences and is now nearing the end of its
divestments of non-core base chemicals units.

Sep 13, 2010

Biotech firm Pharming gets U.S. partner

AMSTERDAM, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Dutch biotech firm Pharming
(PHAR.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) signed a $20 million deal with U.S. company Santarus
Inc (SNTS.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to bring Pharming’s anti-swelling drug Rhucin to
North America, boosting its troubled finances and sending its
shares up.

Santarus would pay Pharming a $15 million upfront fee upon
signing, and a $5 million milestone payment upon acceptance of
Rhucin’s biologic license application (BLA) by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), Pharming said in a statement.

Sep 9, 2010

Lion Capital looks to sell Dutch retailer Hema

AMSTERDAM, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Private equity group Lion
Capital LLP said on Thursday it it had appointed Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
and RBS (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to explore selling retailer Hema, the second
Dutch retailer to be placed up for sale this year.

Lion Capital bought Hema, a household name in the
Netherlands, for an undisclosed sum in July 2007 from Dutch
retail group Maxeda, and has since expanded the number of stores
to 530 in five countries from 355.

Sep 7, 2010

Dutch provinces plan new nuclear plant

AMSTERDAM, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Dutch provinces said on
Tuesday they would lodge an application for the construction of
a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, pitting them
against Dutch utility Delta which has similar plans.

Delta, which owns half of the sole Dutch operating nuclear
power plant, Borssele 1, lodged in June 2009 initial plans to
build a second nuclear plant with four times the capacity of the
first. It is looking for a partner to help develop the project.

Sep 3, 2010

Dutch life sciences fund Forbion raises 190 mln euros

AMSTERDAM, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Dutch fund Forbion said it had
raised 190 million euros ($244 million), for European, Israeli,
and U.S. investments, helped by lower risk aversion in its
chosen field, life sciences.

“We are very pleased to have raised such a substantial
amount as fundraising conditions have never been more
challenging,” Bart Bergstein, managing partner at Forbion
Capital Partners, said in an interview with Reuters.

Sep 2, 2010

Merck & Co postpones Dutch closures, options open

AMSTERDAM, Sept 2 (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co
(MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has postponed the closure of some of its Dutch
operations while it negotiates with executives and workers on
potential alternatives, including a sale of the R&D site.

The last-minute deal announced on Thursday averts a court
hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon, at which employees of
the Dutch unit, formerly called Organon, would have attempted to
block the closures, which were unveiled in July.

Aug 31, 2010

Dutch prosecutors hold two men on terror suspicion

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch authorities detained two Yemeni men at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on suspicion of terrorist conspiracy after a tip-off from the United States, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The pair, en route from Chicago to Yemen, were detained on Monday and a decision on bringing charges is to be made in the next few days, the Dutch prosecution service said.

Aug 31, 2010

AMT shares at record lows on funding worries

AMSTERDAM, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Shares in Dutch biotech AMT
(AMTH.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hit record lows on Tuesday after it said it would look
to raise funding, possibly through bonds or shares, prior to
running out of cash in the second quarter next year.

Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (AMT) is an experimental
human gene therapy biotech company aiming to provide genes to
patients who have fallen ill due to a faulty gene, targeting
diseases such as Haemophilia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Aug 25, 2010

Diamond industry must end illicit trading

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The diamond industry, under scrutiny after supermodel Naomi Campbell’s war crimes testimony and a crisis in Zimbabwe, must take decisive measures to avoid a potential return of conflict diamonds, campaigners say.

The sale of diamonds funded wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola for years. Under mounting public pressure to clean up its act at the end of the 1990s, the industry set up a global certification scheme in 2003 to eradicate conflict diamonds.

    • About Aaron

      "Aaron specialises in the chemical and biotech sectors in the Netherlands alongside daily equities and general news reporting duties. He also covers the international criminal courts from The Hague. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and sub-editor in Australia in 1994. He has lived in the Netherlands since March 2000."
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