BASF not Keen on Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals

02.05.2017 -

BASF is not interested in bidding for Akzo Nobel’s specialty chemicals division, expected to carry a price tag of about $10 billion, but will save its cash to buy agrochemicals assets the companies involved in mergers must sell, sources have told the news agency Blomberg.

The German chemical giant is said to be primarily interested in the crop protection businesses compatriot Bayer will have to divest as part of its planned merger with US rival Monsanto.

Publicly, BASF chief Kurt Bock has been criticized for staying away from the M&A activity sweeping the industry, even if Bloomberg said some company’s managers have been trying to make a case for reviewing Akzo Nobel’s chemicals division. Up to now, Bock has deflected criticism of his conservative approach – some believe because some of the specialty chemicals deals the group has pursued over the past decade have not produced the desired financial return.

Still, some have suggested that BASF could be one of only a handful of companies able to absorb the highly diversified Akzo business whole. Along with LyondellBasell, whose CEO said in early April was looking for acquisitions, some private equity investors are said to be keen to team up to acquire all or parts of the Dutch company’s specialties portfolio.

AkzoNobel proposed the spin-off and probable divestment of the business in an attempt to fend off an unsolicited takeover offer by US coatings player PPG.