Rockwood Holdings Bought for $6 Billion

Specialty chemical company Rockwood Holdings has occupied Overlook Center since 2000, generating few headlines, but quietly becoming the largest lithium producer in the world and one of the largest chemical makers in the country. Now the firm is likely to leave town after being bought out by its rival chemical company, Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Albermarle, for a price of $6.2 billion.

The sale, announced last week, caused shares of the NASDAQ-traded Rockwood to soar, jumping 10 percent the day of the announcement. The deal is expected to finalize in 2015.

Rockwood has 50 employees in its Overlook Center headquarters, managing a global business empire of 3,500 employees spanning 33 facilities in 17 countries. It owns the only lithium mine in the United States, in Silver Peak, Nevada, and another at Salar de Atacama, Chile. Together, these two mines produce most of the lithium made in the Western Hemisphere.

The prospects for lithium use have brightened due to an increased interest in vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. The Tesla Roadster, for example, is powered by a bank of 7,000 laptop battery cells. Tesla has announced plans to build a $3 billion plant to mass produce lithium-ion batteries. Lithium is also used in mobile device batteries, as well as a wide range of other industrial applications.

In 2013 Rockwood made about $400 million selling Lithium and $700 million with its surface treatment division, which makes chemical coatings used in many industries.

Over the last year Rockwood sold off its ceramics and titanium oxide divisions to consolidate its operations.

Ocean Power Kills Australia Project

Ocean Power Technologies, an alternative energy company based on Reed Road in Pennington, has canceled a wave power generating project that was to be built off the coast of Australia.

The cancellation comes in the wake of the company’s firing of CEO Charles F. Dunleavy in June, and a subsequent investigation by the company of the deal he struck with the Australian government; and the company’s public statements about that deal.

A company spokesman said the deal contained “clawback” provisions, which would have allowed the Australian government to take grant money back from OPT’s subsidiary, Victoria Wave Partners, if it failed to meet milestones in the $217 million project.

OPT had already been paid about $5.2 million by the government for the project and plans to return that money.

The Australia project falling through is a setback in the company’s efforts to commercialize its “Power Buoy” technology. Each power buoy is a floating platform that creates electricity from the motion of ocean swells. Each buoy could provide about 150 kilowatts of power, or enough to run about 75 homes.

In April the Department of Energy canceled a project to build a 10-buoy power station off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT), 1590 Reed Road, Pennington 08534; 609-730-0400; fax, 609-730-0404. David L. Keller, interim CEO. www.oceanpowertechnologies.com.

Crosstown Moves

Datasys Consulting & Software Inc., 116 Village Boulevard, Suite 240, Princeton 08540; 609-672-8118; fax, 609-228-5972. Azita Pachomski, operations manager. www.datasysamerica.com.

Datasys, an IT consulting company, has moved its headquarters from 600 Alexander Road to 116 Village Boulevard in Forrestal Village, in order to expand due to new hires. The company employs six people in its office in addition to off-site workers.

Philip David Company, 3836 Quakerbridge Road, Building A, Unit 101, Hamilton 08619; 609-588-0141; fax, 609-890-8560. Helene Nasuti, president.

Philip David Company, a sales agency for the gift industry, has moved from 3625 to 3836 Quakerbridge Road.

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 100, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-799-7799; fax, 609-799-7088. Glenn Rentschler, senior principal. www.wje.com.

The Princeton office of engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner and Associates has moved from 12 Washington Road to 5 Vaughn Drive. About 22 people are based at the office. The building they vacated is on the site of the proposed transit village project.

Deal

Heartland Payment Systems (HPY), 90 Nassau Street, Third Floor, Princeton 08542; 888-798-3131; fax, 609-683-3815. Robert Carr, CEO. www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com.

Heartland Payment Systems, a Nassau Street-based electronic payment processing company, has signed a seven-year deal with a parking payment company.

The deal between Heartland and Chicago-based SP+ parking has Heartland providing payment services in about 4,200 parking facilities around the country.

“As the largest third-party payment network provider in the parking industry, we are excited to forge a relationship with SP+ to provide the same reliable and secure payment services that form the basis of our strong customer relationships,” said David Munson, executive director of client services at Heartland Payment Systems.

Investment

Oncobiologics Inc., 7 Clarke Drive, Cranbury 08512; 609-619-3990; fax, 609-619-3980. Pankaj Mohan PhD, founder and CEO. www.oncobiologics.com.

Strides Arcolab, a biotech company based in Bangalore, India, has invested an undisclosed amount of money in Oncobiologics, a pharma research firm.

Oncobiologics, based on Clarke Drive in Cranbury, is a research company devoted to developing drugs to treat cancer and autoimmune disorders.

“The investments by Strides Arcolab represent important milestones for Oncobiologics. Strides Arcolab is a long-term strategic partner that provides both financial strength and a proven track-record of successful business ventures. We look forward to their support and guidance as we continue to execute Oncobiologics’ business and technical plans,” said Oncobiologics founder and CEO Pankaj Mohan.

Re-opening

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services USA, 133 Franklin Corner Road, First Floor, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-895-9020; www.fmcs.gov.

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, a government office that mediates labor disputes, has once again staffed its office on Franklin Corner Road in Lawrenceville. No one had been working at the office for several months.

Leaving Town

DSBridge Corp., 4390 Route 1 North, Suite 310.

DSBridge Corp, a computer consulting company, has left its office at 4390 Route 1 in Princeton.

Right at Home In Home Care, 10 Gordon Avenue, Law­rence­ville.

Right at Home, a home care agency, has closed its office on Gordon Avenue in Lawrenceville. The national company still has locations in Hillsborough and Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

Springpoint Senior Living, 13 Roszel Road, Princeton. Gary T. Puma, CEO. www.springpointsl.org.

Springpoint Senior Living, a company that manages more than 20 senior citizen communities and affordable housing developments, has moved from 13 Roszel Road to Wall Township. A company spokesperson said the move was to consolidate the Princeton and Shrewsbury offices into one central location. The combined headquarters has 70 employees.

The new address is 4814 Outlook Drive, Wall Township 07753, and the phone number is 800-222-0609.

Deaths

Eugene F. Quinn, 57, on July 12. He was comptroller for Ash’s Flower Farm of Rices LLC in New Hope and Pflaumer Brothers Inc., in Ewing.

R. Kevin McGrory, 67, on July 19. He was a municipal, county, and regional judge, who most recently practiced law with his wife and partner, Mary Lou Delahanty.

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