AkzoNobel has announced plans to reinforce its Specialty Chemicals portfolio by acquiring businesses in Europe and Asia. The company has signed two agreements that will strengthen both its paper and polymer chemicals activities.

AkzoNobel’s Pulp & Paper Chemicals business, Eka Chemicals, will acquire Levasil, the silica sol business of Leverkusen, Germany-based H.C. Starck Group. Meanwhile, AkzoNobel Polymer Chemicals has agreed to purchase two organic peroxides product lines from China’s Jiangsu QiangSheng.

H.C. Starck supplies its Levasil silica sol brand as a raw material mainly to markets in Europe. The plant’s production capacity totals around 30,000 tons a year, and the business employs approximately 50 people. Silica sols are used in various manufacturing industries, including paper, electronics and construction. Subject to regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to be completed no later than the third quarter of 2008.

Jiangsu QiangSheng is China’s largest manufacturer and supplier of organic peroxides. AkzoNobel will acquire two of the company’s organic peroxides product lines, which are used mainly in keyboard pads and for the production of silicone rubber. Customers are primarily located in China, Taiwan, and Korea. Completion of the acquisition is expected in the second quarter of 2008.