Swiss Clariant holds talks with White Tale after US Huntsman merger collapse

30 October 2017 12:42 Source:ICIS News

Clariant headquartersLONDON (ICIS)--Clariant has confirmed that initial talks have taken place with activist shareholder White Tale Holdings, which last week increased its stake in the firm to 20%, scuppering the planned merger with US Huntsman, the Swiss firm said on Monday.

Clariant and Huntsman made a statement on Friday to confirm that they have jointly abandoned plans to merge because the execution of the deal was at risk due to the “uncertainty of securing a two-thirds majority by Clariant shareholders”.

White Tale had initially opposed the deal, saying the merger “both significantly destroys existing Clariant shareholder value and prevents Clariant from pursuing multiple alternative and immediate opportunities to unlock value for its shareholders”.

Clariant confirmed on Monday that after the termination of the deal with Huntsman, It has engaged in initial discussions with White Tale regarding the new situation and ways to work together in the future.

“Clariant’s management has offered White Tale its readiness to present its existing growth strategy, listen to White Tale’s plans and discuss appropriate concrete ways forward, including White Tale’s wish for seats on the board of directors,” the company said.

White Tale’s request will be discussed at Clariant’s next board of directors meeting, according to Swiss governance, it said.

“Like White Tale, Clariant continues to be confident in the future opportunities for long-term value creation for all stakeholders, as a leader in specialty chemicals.

“In order to deepen the dicussions, Clariant invited White Tale to hold further talks. In the coming weeks Clariant will also continue the existing dialogue with all its shareholders, having shown long-term interest in the company.”

Clariant will release its third-quarter financial results on Tuesday October 31, after which ICIS will publish an interview with Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann and CFO Patrick Jany.

By Niall Swan