COLUMBIA, Md. (March 29)—Diversified chemicals and catalysts producer W.R. Grace & Co. has acquired the precipitated silicas business of Akzo-PQ Silica, the silica and silicates joint venture of Akzo Nobel B.V. and PQ Corp., for an undisclosed price. Grace completed the deal for the Dueren, Germany-based business through its German subsidiary Grace Holding GmbH, and said the acquired activity will be integrated into its Davison Silica Products business. Akzo-PQ Silica had 2000 sales of $25 million, Grace said. The acquisition adds precipitated silicas—used as an additive in a variety of products, including paints, paper and rubber compounds, such as "green" tires—to Grace´s existing silica gel and colloidal silica segments, expanding the business significantly. Carbon black producer J.M. Huber Co. had agreed to buy the Akzo-PQ business unit in July, but then cancelled the deal without explanation in August.