The five-month saga in which activist shareholder 40 North Management has sought to take over W.R. Grace & Co. appears set to be resolved one way or another after 40 North made what it described as its “best and final” offer of $70/share on 7 April. This values the company at about $4.6 billion. With Grace’s cooperation, 40 North said, it will be set to sign a definitive agreement within two weeks.
W.R. Grace & Co. has agreed to acquire the Fine Chemistry Services (FCS) business of its fellow US speciality chemicals company, Albemarle, in a deal that is expected to close in Q2, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. This will bring Grace sites at Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and South Haven, Michigan. FCS will fit within Pharma & Consumer, which Grace described as “the largest, fastest growing and most profitable sub-segment” in its Materials Technologies business.
Two players in speciality chemicals, Elementis in the UK and W.R. Grace in the US, have both been approached with conditional takeover offers and have both rejected them in recent weeks.
Elementis announced on 12 November that it had received a preliminary conditional proposal from Minerals Technologies in relation to a possible cash offer at £1.07/share. Based on consultation with its financial adviser, it concluded that this “significantly undervalued Elementis and its future prospects” and the board unanimously rejected it.