30 November 2006 12:10 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--ICI was not concerned about a possible takeover following the sale of its flavours and fragrance division Quest, the company’s chief financial officer said on Thursday.
"I think we are doing the best we feel we can for shareholders," Alan Brown told delegates at the 10th Chemical Industry Finance and Investment Conference.
"We are very determined to be able to continue to deliver the continuous performance improvement we have seen over the last three to four years." he said.
The sale of Quest to Givaudan for £1.2bn was announced by ICI earlier this month, prompting speculation that the new slimmed-down, debt-free company could become a takeover target.
Brown also revealed that ICI was actively exploring acquisition opportunities in the Eastern European paint market and in adhesives in India.
"I think that in the area we are looking opportunities will arise, but whether we succeed in acquiring those opportunities for a suitable price remains to be seen," he told the conference.
Mr Brown said ICI’s paint business in India was expanding but added that it still had some way to go.
"Our paints business is the most rapidly developing in India but it’s not as big as we would like," he said.
He said ICI also had a small but fast-growing adhesives business in the country that could be expanded through acquisition
Brown said ICI needed to accelerate growth so it was not just dependent on favourable economic conditions.
He said ICI was currently at the average industry standard in terms of costs, adding: "There is much opportunity to get much closer to best in class."
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