BASF Raises Takeover Bid for Engelhard Corp.

BASF AG has increasd its hostile takeover bid for Engelhard Corp. and said it will be the final offer for Woodbridge, NJ-based manufacturer.

German chemical maker BASF AG has raised its hostile takeover bid for its rival, U.S.-based Engelhard Corp., by 2.6 percent to nearly $5.07 billion, according to the Associated Press. The company said the bid is its final offer.

BASF initially bid $37 a share for Woodbridge, NJ-based Engelhard, which makes catalytic converters for cars and specialty chemicals, in January. The takeover bid was an effort to create a global leader in products such as pigments and catalysts. The new bid  is for $39  a share. 

BASF Chief Executive Juergen Hambrecht told AP he is confident that Engelhard's shareholders will "recognize the superior value for all of their shares and the complete certainty that BASF is offering."  He also
 said BASF would abandon the takeover and "explore other opportunities" if Engelhard's shareholders fail to elect its nominees at the U.S. company's annual meeting on June 2.

The offer expires June 5.

Engelhard's managers rejected earlier offers as too low. The company unveiled a plan to raise shareholder returns on its own, including buying back up to 20 percent of its stock at $45 a share.

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