Clariant to update own strategy, M&As still on the table

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Following the collapse of a deal to merge with Huntsman Corp. in October, Swiss chemicals company Clariant AG has announced new plans to update its strategy and set “concrete set of measures” to create value, including mergers & acquisitions.

The announcement came amid pressure by US activist majority shareholder White Tale Holdings, which demanded Clariant to conduct a reassessment of its strategy using an independent investment bank.

In response, the Muttenz-based speciality chemicals company said 24 Nov that it would present its own updated strategy to investors at its annual general meeting at the beginning of 2018.

The plan, explained Clariant, was developed as a consequence of the termination of the intended merger with Huntsman, which was forced by activist shareholders.

White Tale, which owns 20% of the company shares, was one of the key shareholders against the merger.

Clariant wen on to say that the $20bn (€16.6bn) merger of equals would have accelerated the Swiss company’s value creation and generated more than $3.5bn of shareholder value.

“Clariant's management is fully aware that the new situation following the termination of the merger will require additional efforts to update the strategy which will now be implemented on an accelerated basis,” the company added.

The company’s board of directors have voiced support for the executive committee's intention to build upon Clariant's existing strategy by "defining further actions such as M&A activities, short-term portfolio management options and potential returns to shareholders."

Supported by Süd-Chemie legacy shareholders, representing approximately 15% of the company shares, as well as a majority of institutional shareholders, the company said it would continue “its course of reaching a position in the top tier of the speciality chemicals industry.”

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