Clariant to pay large premium for British chemical firm

Clariant, the largest speciality chemicals group in Switzerland, is expected to announce an agreed takeover bid for BTP on Monday. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Clariant will pay a huge premium of 72 per cent for the British chemicals company.

This content was published on January 23, 2000 - 17:59

Clariant, the largest speciality chemicals group in Switzerland, is expected to announce an agreed takeover bid for BTP on Monday. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Clariant will pay a huge premium of 72 percent for the British chemicals company.

The Swiss group will pay about 600 pence a share for BTP, in a deal which now values BTP at more than SFr 2.62 billion. The British paper reports that the reason behind Clariant’s "generous" bid is its "determination to prevent counter-bidders joining the fray." Other bidders were rumoured to be Lonza, another Swiss group, and DSM of the Netherlands.

The paper reports that a British takeover bid has been on Clariant’s agenda for over a year. However, last April the company’s SFr 5.5 billion bid for Laporte was cancelled when Hoechst of Germany, which owned 45 percent of Clariant’s shares, objected. But last July, Hoechst sold its stake, freeing Clariant to pursue British-based groups.

Presently, Clariant is in good shape, having survived the global downturn in its sector and is described as a "hungry predator" by the paper. BTP, which manufactures pharmaceutical intermediates, has struggled recently with weak Asian markets and a strong pound. But, according to the Sunday Times, the rumours of a takeover bid have consistently lifted the value of the company’s shares.

From staff and wire reports

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