An activist investor targeting Clariant abruptly gave up the war, selling its shares to Saudi Basic Industries Corp. rather than carry on the fight to force a breakup and sale of the Swiss chemical maker.
Sabic, as the buyer is known, purchased the 24.99 percent stake from White Tale Holdings, as per the statement on Thursday to the Saudi stock exchange.
Sabic “currently has no plans” to make a acquisition offer for Clariant, according to the statement, which did not reveal financial terms. The stake has a market value of approximately 2.35 billion Swiss francs ($2.5 billion) based on Wednesday’s closing price for Clariant.
Switzerland-based company, Muttenz mentioned on Thursday, “Clariant intends to engage with Sabic over the coming weeks in order to discuss the new situation and explore possible ways to create value.”
He also stated that, “Clariant will also continue the existing dialogue with all its other shareholders.”
White Tale’s departure will be welcomed by Clariant Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann after the group blocked his outlined combination with Huntsman last year.
Clariant is considered by many investors as Europe’s No. 1 chemical takeover target, and Sabic could facilitate Kottmann with the second large shareholder that he wanted to give stability to the company, alongside a family investor group.
White Tale constitutes of Corvex Management, the hedge fund run by Keith Meister, and industry investor 40 North.
Co-chief investment officer of 40 North, David Millstone said in a statement, “Sabic’s strategic investment in Clariant is a successful outcome and we are pleased to have played a role in making it possible.”
Clariant shares drop 2.2 percent Wednesday to close at 28.38 francs. The stock has risen 32 percent since White Tale announced July 4 that it had taken a stake and wanted to scuttle the Huntsman deal.
The investor stated in November that it would go directly to the Swiss chemical maker’s shareholders with a proposal that the company review strategic choices after it was rebuffed by the board.
Saudi firm mentioned in the statement, “The deal is part of Sabic’s strategy to diversify its products and to provide innovative solutions to its customers.’’
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