Clariant and Huntsman abandon plans for merger

Clariant and Huntsman abandon plans for merger

Clariant and Huntsman Corporation jointly announced on 31 October 2107 that they have mutually terminated their proposed merger of equals. The decision was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. In a joint statement, Peter R Huntsman, president and CEO of Huntsman, and Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant, stated that they remain convinced that the proposed merger of equals as agreed to on 21 May 2017, would have been in the long-term best interests of all shareholders of both companies. Both are global specialty chemical companies that are also active in India.

However, given the continued accumulation of Clariant shares by investor White Tale Holdings and its opposition to the transaction, which is now supported by some other shareholders, they believe that there is simply too much uncertainty as to whether Clariant will be able to secure the two-thirds shareholder approval that is required to approve the transaction under Swiss law.

Under these circumstances the companies have jointly decided to terminate the merger agreement. The termination agreement foresees no payment of a break fee on either side. Peter Huntsman further commented, “We viewed this merger of equals as an opportunity to accelerate our downstream growth and for two great companies to become even better together. However, it is not the only option for Huntsman to create real and lasting value. Going forward, we will continue to create shareholder value by delivering on four objectives: Continued focus on growth and expanding margins in our differentiated and specialty businesses through both organic growth and appropriate bolt-on acquisitions; Consistent strong annual free cash flow and deleveraging, reaching investment grade metrics beginning in 2018; Monetization of the remaining Venator shares, further strengthening the balance sheet; and, Upon achieving investment grade metrics, return of additional value to shareholders.

“Our future has never looked brighter. The company’s balance sheet is stronger than it has ever been and will strengthen further as we continue to generate strong cash flow from our operations and monetize our Venator equity. We also look forward to wide scale improvement this year over the previous in earnings, growth and margin expansion.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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