ADNOC makes sweetened $12.4 billion bid for Covestro

Eyk Henning, Bloomberg December 21, 2023

(Bloomberg) — Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. submitted an increased preliminary takeover bid for German chemical company Covestro AG and offered concessions to pave the way for the start of detailed due diligence, people with knowledge of the matter said.

State-owned ADNOC made a fresh proposal of about €60 a share, valuing Covestro at around €11.3 billion ($12.4 billion), according to the people. ADNOC previously made informal bids of €55 and €57 that Covestro viewed as too low.

It also pledged job guarantees for several years as well as about $8 billion of investments after closing the deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Covestro is pondering its response, some of the people said. A representative for ADNOC declined to comment. A spokesman for Covestro pointed to a statement from early September saying the company is in open-ended discussions with ADNOC and declined to comment further.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that the Middle Eastern energy giant was working on such a move that would please at least some of Covestro’s shareholders. 

Covestro rose 0.4% to €53.80 at 10:48 a.m. in Frankfurt.   

Union Investment, a German fund manager that’s among the top 15 investors in Covestro, on Tuesday called on company management to grant ADNOC access to due diligence following Bloomberg’s report of plans for a potentially improved bid.

“In our view, such an offer fulfills the prerequisite for the board to enter into in-depth takeover negotiations,” Arne Rautenberg, a fund manager at Union Investment, said in an emailed statement. 

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