06 February 2014 14:16 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--German specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals firm Merck KGaA on Thursday for a second time extended its takeover offer for UK-listed AZ Electronic Materials after failing to achieve the required AZ shareholder acceptance level.
Merck said that 56.5% of AZ shareholders had accepted its £1.6bn cash bid by the 5 February deadline. While the acceptance level is up from 39.8% on 22 January when the first deadline expired, it is still well short of the required 95% to complete the deal.
Merck set 18 February as new deadline. It did not say whether it may raise its 403.5 pence/share offer from December last year to win over the remaining shareholders.
The company added that competition authorities in Germany and Taiwan have cleared the deal, following US clearance last month.
Merck is still waiting for clearance in other countries, including China where the review process is expected to end on 28 February, it said.
The takeover of AZ would further expand Merck’s specialty chemicals business.
Additional reporting by Tom Brown
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