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Merck extends offer for AZ Electronic Materials to May 2

Staff writer |
Merck KGaA announced that the timetable of its recommended cash offer for AZ Electronic Materials (AZ) has been extended by another two weeks as antitrust clearance by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is pending.

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Discussions with MOFCOM are continuing, and Merck is focusing its efforts on obtaining Chinese antitrust clearance as quickly as possible. Since the previous announcement was issued on March 14, 2014, MOFCOM has raised certain specific concerns that Merck is working with the Chinese authorities to address. Merck is confident that there will be a satisfactory explanation or solution to these concerns. The timetable will be extended until 1 p.m. (London time) on May 2, 2014.

"We are committed to completing our offer for AZ as quickly as possible. Whilst Merck is confident that the concerns raised by MOFCOM are addressable, it is important for the stakeholders of both companies that we follow the appropriate procedure in China for receiving clearance from MOFCOM," said Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the executive board of Merck.

"We are actively engaged in discussions with MOFCOM and we trust in the Chinese authorities that our constructive discussions will lead to a timely and satisfactory solution for all parties involved.

At 1:00 p.m. (London time) on April 18, 2014, Merck had received valid acceptances of the offer in respect of 257,241,143 AZ shares, representing approximately 67.53 percent of the existing issued share capital of AZ.

As already announced on March 14, Merck will lower the acceptance threshold for the offer from 95 percent to 75 percent if the offer condition related to Chinese antitrust clearance is satisfied. Apart from China, the necessary antitrust clearances in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States have already been granted.

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