Saying it did not fit with its special chemicals and coatings activities, the Swedish chemicals group, Akzo Nobel, announced the sale in late June of its National Starch business to Corn Products International for $1.3 billion (1 billion).

An American corporation, Corn Products International is based in Westchester, Illinois.

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Acquired by Akzo Nobel in 2008 as part of the ICI British group, National Starch had sales of 1.2 billion last year, employs 2,250 and has 11 factories in eight countries. The deal will be completed by the end of the third quarter of the year., according to Akzo Nobel's chief executive, Hans Wijers.