Leading chemical distribution companies Univar Solutions Inc. and Brenntag SE have parted ways without reaching a deal. The two companies had confirmed in November that early-stage negotiations were ongoing about a possible acquisition by Brenntag of Univar, are "no longer proceeding with those discussions."
An investor had said that Univar was "undervalued in the public market and, in turn, a highly attractive acquisition target for qualified buyers," prompting merger and acquisition talks.
In an open letter to the board of directors, the investor, Engine Capital, who holds approximately 1 percent of the outstanding shares in Univar, urged Univar to announce a 'competitive and formal sale process' to ensure the "board has all the information needed to make a value-maximizing decision that benefits all shareholders."
Brenntag distributes a wide variety of chemicals, including some polymers and synthetic rubber materials. Its large portfolio includes thermoplastics and additives. Univar offers elastomer materials including silicone elastomers and silanes, plus antioxidants, plasticizers, accelerators, flame retardants and processing aids.
In a statement, Univar confirmed it is currently looking at other options.The company said that it and its board of "committed to acting in the best interest of its stockholders and will continue discussions relating to other indications of interest that have been received with respect to a potential transaction."
Univar emphasized, however, that there can be "no assurance that the ongoing process will result in any transaction." The company said it does not intend to make any additional comments regarding this matter unless and until it is appropriate to do so.