Huntsman eyes Clariant, Ciba takeovers - report
Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:30pm ET
ZURICH, June 19 (Reuters) - U.S. chemicals group Huntsman Corp. is keen on buying Swiss peers Clariant and Ciba, the head of Huntsman was quoted as saying, reinforcing the view either group may be taken over.
"It would certainly be interesting for Huntsman to buy Clariant, or parts of it," Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman told Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung.
"The same goes for Ciba," said Huntsman, whose group makes chemicals used in paints and textiles.
Merger speculation has been swirling around Clariant as well as cross-town rival Ciba, as specialty chemicals companies have been hard hit by higher raw material costs and increasing competition from low-cost producers in Asia.
But Huntsman said he would not make a hostile offer.
"First, Clariant or single divisions must officially be for sale," Huntsman told the newspaper.
A Clariant spokesman said the company had received no takeover offers, the newspaper said, while a spokesman for Ciba said the company was well equipped to go it alone.
German chemicals group Lanxess was mentioned last month as a possible suitor for Clariant, boosting its shares. Lanxess at the time declined to comment.
Ciba last year sold its Textile Effects unit to Huntsman for some 330 million Swiss francs ($266.1 million).
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