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Clariant’s combination with Huntsman in doubt: Reuters
Posted on Friday, 06 October 2017 10:13
Citing multiple sources, Reuters said Clariant’s planned acquisition of Huntsman could be scuppered as a result of shareholder opposition.

The news provider noted that the parties hope to be able to push the deal through despite the concerns from activist White Tale Holdings, the largest investor in Clariant, with a 15.2 per cent holding.

White Tale increased its share of Huntsman in mid-September and has been vocal in its criticism of the proposed combination; Reuters cited the firm as saying the resulting benefits would not be sufficient and could adversely affect Clariant as a result of the target’s debt level.

The news provider cited a source in the know as saying the activist could pick up yet more stock in advance of a shareholder vote on the planned acquisition, while people familiar with the situation said it was in the process of trying to convince other investors to get behind it in opposing the deal.

However, Clariant is not likely to take the matter lying down; Reuters noted it is planning a media campaign with the aim of generating support for its cause.

The Swiss speciality chemical company agreed to buy Huntsman for USD 20.00 billion back in May, with both parties’ boards giving their seals of approval at the time and an initial expected completion date set for the end of 2017.

Should the deal go ahead as planned, Clariant would change its name to HuntsmanClariant upon closing.

However, the combination needs to be approved by two thirds of Clariant’s shareholders before it can take effect; as such, the battle for support which is about to play out could make for anxious watching for those involved.

The deal is the seventh-largest to have been announced worldwide across all sectors during 2017 to date, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

British American Tobacco’s USD 49,400 million takeover of the remaining 57.8 per cent stake in US tobacco maker Reynolds American was the largest of all.

Others targeted in high value transactions this year include German chemicals firm Linde, Swiss pharmaceuticals player Actelion and US provider of avionics and information technology systems Rockwell Collins.

© Zephus Ltd