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TMCNet:  Chemicals: Merck pays pounds 1.6bn for AZ Electronic Materials

[December 05, 2013]

Chemicals: Merck pays pounds 1.6bn for AZ Electronic Materials

(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Merck - the world's largest maker of liquid crystals used in TV, tablet and smartphone screens - has agreed to buy Britain's AZ Electronic Materials for pounds 1.6bn to expand its range of specialist chemicals for hi-tech gadgets.

Germany's Merck, which also makes cancer drugs and laboratory equipment, will pay 403.5p a share in cash for AZ, a 41% premium to its average share price over the last three months.

While many of Merck's peers in the pharmaceuticals industry are selling assets to focus on core businesses, Merck's deal underscores its position as a diversified group, with the family behind it seeking to spread its investment risk.

"Our philosophy has always been to never put all eggs in one basket," said finance chief Matthias Zachert.

The electronics industry uses speciality chemicals to produce chips, displays and other components. Many of the products are high-margin, but demand is closely tied to production cycles in manufacturing centres like Taiwan. Reuters (c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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