BASF, Engelhard sign confidentiality pact

16 March 2006 18:56  [Source: ICIS news]

A BASF employee in Schwarzheide, GermanyHOUSTON (ICIS news)--BASF and Engelhard confirmed on Thursday that the two companies have entered into a confidentiality agreement as part of the German chemical giant’s attempt to buy the US specialty chemical maker.

BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, said earlier Thursday that it will extend its offer for Engelhard by one month, to 14 April, to review information. The extension is the third since BASF’s unsolicited offer of $37 a share on 3 January.

BASF, which values Engelhard at $4.9bn (Euro4.1bn), said it welcomed the confidentiality agreement and plans to continue to pursue the takeover.

“We anticipate as a result of this agreement that [Engelhard will] be giving us some non-public information,” said Jack Maurer, spokesman for BASF. “We’re still fully committed to this acquisition and the fact that we’ve extended the offer is additional evidence of our commitment.”

Engelhard, a US specialty chemicals and catalysts company, said the agreement would protect investors.

“We welcome them into the process,” said Ted Lowen, a spokesman for Engelhard. “We think this is something that is fair and reasonable for our shareholders.”

Englehard, however, said that less than 1% of its outstanding shares were tendered into BASF’s offer.

"We believe that the response to BASF's unsolicited tender offer demonstrates that Engelhard stockholders recognize that the offer is inadequate and that our exploration of strategic alternatives has the potential to create value greater than BASF's offer,” Engelhard said. “We appreciate the continued support of our stockholders as we seek to maximize value on their behalf."

Engelhard's board unanimously recommended that its stockholders reject BASF's offer.


By: Joseph Lohan
+1 713 525 2653



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