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German pharmaceutical group Merck KgaA said Wednesday it had offered to buy electronics industry supplier Versum Materials for 5.3 billion euros ($6 billion), its biggest purchase in four years.
In the all-cash offer, the Darmstadt-based group said it would pay shareholders $48 per share for the US company with a current market capitalisation of $4.6 billion.
Merck said merging the two businesses would create a portfolio of ‘electronic materials, equipment and services for the semiconductor and display industries’.
The takeover would be the biggest for Merck since its 2015 purchase of US materials supplier Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion.
Merck will however have to beat off competition from a US rival Entegris, for Versum. Entegris had already offered to buy Versum in January, but Merck believes that its offer is superior.
The German group’s decision was however seen negatively by investors, with the stock sliding 3.71 percent to 91.36 euros at 1455 GMT, underperforming the DAX which was trading down 0.25 percent.