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News from the glass and refractory worlds

• Allied Glass Containers has announced that it is about to receive a significant boost due to a planned investment project, which will see over £3 million invested in the company’s glass coloring capability at its Knottingley, U.K. plant in the first six months of 2012.

ANH Refractories Europe has secured a new deal to supply products to the Middle East petrochemical market. The deal has been signed through ANH’s long-term licensed partner BFIM (Binzagr Factory for Insulation Materials), based in Saudi Arabia.

Luxembourg based packaging group Ardagh has announced that it is to go ahead with plans to build a low-cost glass manufacturing plant in the Republic of Ireland, after advances to the owners of the Quinn group’s glass operations were rebuffed. Ardagh also announced that it has acquired US-based Leone Industries from the Leone family. The acquisition of Leone Industries will increase the size of Ardagh’s glass division by approximately 10 percent.

Saint-Gobain and the NSG Corporation signed an agreement on March 29 concerning the acquisition by Pilkington/NSG of Saint-Gobain’s total stake in Flovetro SpA (announced in early February). The two groups have shared of this company, which operates one flat glass manufacturing float line in San Salvo (Italy), since 1976.

• Also on March 29, Cookson Group PLC, a leading materials science company announced it completed the acquisition of Metallurgica Beteiligungsesellschaft mbH, Metallurgica Gesellschaft fur Huttenwerkstechnik mbH & Co. KG, and Metallurgica North America, LP (“Metallurgica”). Metallugica, headquartered in Germany, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fluxes, and will be integrated into Cookson’s engineered ceramics division.

Rio Tinto has entered into exclusive talks with the US-based private-investment firm HIG Capital regarding its offer for Rio’s European specialty alumina business. The talks are in line with Rio’s strategy to restructure its aluminum business by selling non-core assets and pursuing savings. The specialty alumina business employs 730 people and is the largest integrated supplier of non-metallurgical grade of alumina, with four production sites: Gardanne, La Bathie and Beyrede, all in southern France, and Teutschenthal in Germany.