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Merck to acquire Versum Materials for $5.8 billion

By Mary Page Bailey |

Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany; www.merck.com) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Versum Materials, Inc. for $53 per share in cash. The business combination has been unanimously approved by the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and by Versum’s Board of Directors.

The agreed upon price reflects an enterprise value (EV) for Versum of approximately €5.8 billion. The business combination is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share pre (EPS pre) and accretive to reported EPS in the third full year after closing.

“With this transaction, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will be optimally positioned to capitalize on long-term growth trends in the electronic materials industry. Our combined business shall deliver leading-edge innovations to our customers around the globe,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman of Versum, said: “The Merck-Versum transaction offers compelling and certain value for our shareholders and will provide long-term benefits for our customers and employees. This exciting business combination will create increased scale, product and service depth, enhanced global presence, strengthened supply chain and combined R&D capabilities, driving leading innovation. We look forward to joining together our respective businesses and talented teams.”

Versum is one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovation-driven, high-purity process chemicals, gases and equipment for semiconductor manufacturing. The company reported annual sales of approximately €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) in FY2018, has approximately 2,300 employees, and operates 15 manufacturing and seven research and development facilities throughout Asia and North America.

The business combination is expected to significantly strengthen Merck’s Performance Materials business sector, creating a leading electronic materials player focused on the semiconductor and display industries. The business combination rebalances the company’s diversified three pillar portfolio of Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials while executing on Performance Material’s previously communicated transformation program.

Merck intends to maintain Versum’s Tempe, AZ headquarters as the major hub for the combined electronic materials business in the United States, complementing Merck’s KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s already strong footprint and track record as a top employer in the U.S. Over the past decade, the company has invested approximately $24 billion in the U.S. through acquisitions alone, including the successful acquisitions of Millipore in 2010 and Sigma-Aldrich in 2015. Versum employees will become an integral part of a leading electronic materials business and will benefit from new and exciting development opportunities within a truly global science and technology company.

Versum’s Board of Directors, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has unanimously determined that this business combination constitutes a Superior Proposal as defined in Versum’s previously announced merger agreement with Entegris, Inc., and Versum has terminated the merger agreement with Entegris concurrently with the execution of the definitive agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to the approval of Versum stockholders at a Versum special meeting, regulatory clearances and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

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