08 February 1999 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]English China Clays has accepted an improved £756 million ($1.2 billion) takeover bid from the French building materials company Imetal. The deal puts in doubt the future of ECC's US-based Calgon specialty chemicals business.
ECC's management board initially opposed Imetal's acquisition offer but reversed itself after Imetal raised its bid by 11 percent from 225 pence per share to 250 pence.
The UK company is the world's largest manufacturer of kaolin. It also produces pigments and ceramics, which form a major part of Imetal's operations.
Patrick Kron, Imetal's CEO, said last week that the combination of the two companies has "an obvious industrial logic." However, he has previously questioned the need to keep Calgon.
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