Merck KGaA Prepares to Delist AZ Electronic Materials

With 97% of all shares in AZ Electronic Materials in hand, Germany's Merck KGaA has moved closer to its goal of delisting the company.

The German chemicals and pharmaceuticals producer closed the €2 billion acquisition on May 9 after receiving the green light from Chinese antitrust authorities.

Merck extended its offer seven times and during the process reduced its initial minimal acceptance threshold to 75% from 95%.

AZ, once part of the now defunct German chemical group Hoechst, produces chemicals for integrated circuits.

Merck said it will now "swiftly start" the integration of the acquired company, which employs around 1,150 people worldwide, and expects all major measures to be completed by the end of 2014. AZ's former CEO, Geoff Wild, will remain with the company to support a smooth integration into Merck's Performance Materials division.

During the integration, it will be operated as a separate business unit alongside Merck's three existing business units Liquid Crystals, Pigments & Cosmetics and Advanced.

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