Covestro opens books to ADNOC over $12.5 billion takeover offer

Covestro opens books to ADNOC over $12.5 billion takeover offer

Covestro’s headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. The company has adjusted its full year guidance for 2022, citing a number of factors.

Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images

German chemicals firm Covestro is giving ADNOC access to its books and stepping up talks based on an improved 11.7 billion euro ($12.5 billion) takeover offer, after more than a year of courtship by the Emirati energy company.

Covestro, which makes plastics and chemicals for construction and engineering, said on Monday it believed the two sides could “generally reach a common understanding regarding core aspects of a possible transaction including support for Covestro’s further growth strategy”.

Discussions, which had previously been described as open-ended, will now be “concrete negotiations”, with Covestro providing due diligence information, after ADNOC, short for Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, made a 62 euros per share offer, it said.

That was up from 60 euros previously, according to what people familiar with the talks had told Reuters.

Covestro said talks would proceed “in a timely manner” and there was no certainty of an agreement.

Its shares were up 6.4% to 54.46 euros at 1115 GMT.

A spokesperson for ADNOC welcomed Covestro’s decision: “We look forward to jointly working with Covestro to swiftly progress due diligence for this important transaction,” adding that this was ADNOC’s final offer.

It has taken the two sides more than a year to get to this stage. ADNOC’s initial informal offer to Covestro was reported in June 2023, but it wasn’t until September last year that the German company entered into open-ended formal discussions.

The length of the discussions would suggest that many of the issues are likely to be well advanced, Jefferies analyst said in a note.

Covestro has postponed its capital markets day scheduled for June 27 “in light of the recent developments” until further notice, the company said.

ADNOC has been pursuing a series of European targets. It has also been in talks with Austria’s OMV to create a chemicals giant with combined annual sales of more than $20 billion.

In December, it agreed to buy European chemical producer OCI’s stake in ammonia and urea producer Fertiglobe for $3.6 billion. Reuters reported in April that it had for a while considered buying Britain’s BP.

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