Takeover bid for SIG deemed 'inadequate'
SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND - PET blow molding equipment supplier SIG Holding AG, now at the center of a flurry of takeover interest, has rejected one firm offer from Norway's Ferd Group and London-based private equity company CVC Capital Partners.
But Schaffhausen-based SIG admitted it has been approached by other would-be buyers and has decided to open its books to all interested parties to allow them to ``carefully evaluate an acquisition.''
Lysaker, Norway-based Ferd, parent of beverage and food carton packaging firm Elopak A/S, and CVC initially offered to pay 325 Swiss francs ($258) per share, valuing SIG at around SFr1.8 billion ($1.42 billion).
In return for due-diligence access and a satisfactory outcome, the bidders agreed to raise their offer to SFr350 ($277) per share, making SIG worth around SFr2.3 billion ($1.8 billion).
Apart from its plastics equipment business, SIG also owns aseptic beverage carton provider SIG Combibloc, which has led to the merger interest shown by Ferd's owner and chief executive officer, Johan H. Andresen Jr.
In a news release, he revealed Ferd has been trying for some time to reach a deal with SIG. Elopak and SIG are ``highly complementary'' and their merger would follow ``a compelling industrial logic,'' said Andresen, who aimed the latest proposal directly at SIG shareholders.
SIG's board rejected the Ferd/CVC bid as ``inadequate and too low.''
BASF invests in new facility in Michigan
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - BASF Corp. will invest more than $100 million in a new plant in Wyandotte, Mich., to support the Johnson Polymer business it acquired in July.
The company is moving emulsion and resin production activities - along with sales, a pilot plant and research and development operations - from Sturtevant, Wis., and expects to add 175 jobs in Wyandotte, executives said.
The sales, marketing and customer support offices will move to Wyandotte by June, with the full facility to be completed in the first half of 2009. The company said in a Sept. 8 news release that it will offer positions to existing staff in Wisconsin.
BASF, based in Florham Park, purchased the Johnson Polymer unit from JohnsonDiversey Inc. of Sturtevant for $470 million, but the deal did not include the facilities in Wisconsin. JohnsonDiversey will continue making Johnson Polymer products under the Joncryl trade name for BASF until the companies can transfer production.
Johnson Polymer makes water-based resins primarily used in the printing and coatings industries. BASF has folded it into its performance chemicals division. The move from Sturtevant does not affect Johnson production in Seaford, Del., and the Netherlands.
BASF has received a $5.5 million single business tax credit from the state of Michigan to help finance its move, along with a $15 million brownfield tax credit to help cover the cost of decontaminating the site in preparation for the expansion. The city of Wyandotte also is considering local tax abatements worth more than $35 million throughout the next 20 years.
GE Canada receives funding for laboratory
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - GE Canada is getting provincial funding to set up an advanced polymers technology laboratory at its Cobourg, Ontario, plant.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said the C$700,000 (US$622,000) contribution will help promote research and skills training for Ontario industry.
Mississauga-based GE Canada will contribute ``millions of dollars'' over the life of the center, according to Steven Rosa, outgoing plant manager for the GE Canada site in Cobourg.
The initial phase of the program involves building the lab. GE Canada researchers will work with research scientists from Ontario's 17 technical universities, studying mixing and color efficiency in compounds as well as physical characteristics and crystalline properties, Rosa said in a telephone interview. The laboratory on GE's property will allow researchers to try new technology rapidly in a commercial-size setup. The GE plant compounds a range of plastics and makes plastic film and sheet. Several years ago it polymerized ABS resin.
Rosa said the Ontario grant plus a range of tax credits helped sway GE executives to commit to developing the research center in Cobourg.