BAD HOMBURG, Germany (Aug. 12)—Altana A.G., a German pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals group, is negotiating the acquisition of the GE Bayer Silicones GmbH polyurethane foam surfactants unit, an Altana spokesman said. GE Bayer Silicones acquired polyether-siloxane foam stabilizer technology and know-how from Altana subsidiary, BYK-Chemie GmbH. The spokesman did not know how that deal related to Altana's latest acquisition plan. Under the earlier deal, BYK-Chemie agreed to continue making the surfactants at its plant in Wesel, Germany. However, worldwide marketing of the product passed to Erkrath, Germany-based GE Bayer Silicones, together with GE Silicones in the U.S. and GE Toshiba in Asia. Until then, GE Bayer had been a minor player in the global 40,000 metric-tons-per-year PU foam surfactants, thanks to a small product portfolio brought to the joint venture by Bayer Silicones.