Specialty chemical maker Engelhard Corp. said yesterday it is urging its stockholders to reject a second takeover bid from BASF of Germany. In turning down the hostile $4.9 billion bid ($37 per share), the Iselin, NJ-based manufacturer said it would explore other alternatives, including the sale of the company.
BASF first approached Engelhard in December and was rebuffed. It made its second offer on Jan. 4. Engelhard CEO Barry Perry told The New York Times that the BASF bid is "opportunistic and inappropriate" based on his belief that recent turnaround strategies at Engelhard are only now beginning to pay off. The inventor of the automobile catalytic converter, Engelhard forecasts growth from a greater demand for emission-control technologies and less-polluting fuels.