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Wed, Jan. 27, 4:26 AM
- Novartis' (NYSE:NVS) fourth quarter earnings missed expectations as the group prepared to overhaul its Alcon eyecare division.
- Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) warned it would slump to yet another full-year loss after it put aside £2.5B to cover a slew of regulatory issues.
- Strength in its U.K. business helps Santander (NYSE:SAN) offset weakness in Latin America and Spain, with Q4 earnings coming roughly in line with expectations.
- Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) reported a 67% increase in quarterly net profit, helped by a stronger dollar and higher revenue from a new global license deal with Apple.
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) issued a profit warning, knocked down by lower oil and gas prices, which have led to write-downs of its energy business.
Tue, Jan. 26, 8:05 AM
- CTFN Contributor Valeria Camerino reports that market observers believe ChemChina's CHF470 (US$462) per share bid ($44B) for 70% of Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) is more likely to pass antitrust scrutiny than a potential merger with Monsanto (NYSE:MON) because there is less overlap. A deal could be reached as soon as next month.
- In December, Syngenta's board turned down Monsanto's $47B offer stating that it significantly undervalued the firm.
- ChemChina is a major player in generic pesticides, but has no appreciable footprint in high-tech herbicides, insecticides, fungicides or seeds. Also Chinese ownership would enhance penetration in key emerging markets. A bump in the road, however, could be the purchase of Syngenta's U.S.-based assets by a Chinese acquirer.
- Syngenta is an attractive target on the basis of its seeds business and first rate crop protection chemicals portfolio. It is the only pure play in Europe in these areas.
- As far as Monsanto is concerned, one observer believes it makes more strategic sense for Syngenta to acquire Monsanto and dispose of the crop protection chemicals business and any required seeds assets, along with the related salesforce and technical support. He feels that Monsanto would be better served by merging with BASF's (OTCQX:BASFY) crop chemical business.
- Previously: Bloomberg: ChemChina moves closer to potential Syngenta deal (Jan. 15)
- Previously: Syngenta talking with Monsanto, ChemChina and others, chairman says (Dec. 22, 2015)
Dec. 11, 2015, 7:07 PM
- Farm groups are calling for regulators to closely scrutinize the proposed merger of Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and DuPont that could give the companies more clout in the markets for seeds and pesticides.
- Chemicals and materials businesses would comprise most of DowDuPont's revenues, but the markets for those products tend to be fragmented; the combined companies' agriculture business would boast big market shares, such as 41% of sales of U.S. corn seeds and related genetics vs. DuPont’s current 35% and Dow’s 6%.
- Also, the merger could cause further deals among the six companies that currently dominate the global market for seed and crop chemicals, a group that also includes Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Syngenta (NYSE:SYT), Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY) and BASF (OTCQX:BASFY).
- But Dow and DuPont do not appear to expect antitrust problems; DuPont CEO Ed Breen says the companies plan to divest only modestly - “nothing that would move the needle."
Dec. 9, 2015, 12:10 PM
- Any merger between Dow Chemical (DOW +10.5%) and DuPont (DD +12.6%) would have far-reaching consequences for European rivals, prompting a series of moves as pesticide and seed makers scramble to face a combined U.S. giant.
- A merger would make it more likely that Monsanto (MON +0.2%) re-approaches Syngenta (SYT +7.7%), Bernstein analysts say, speculating that a new bid could come in at 485 Swiss francs, more than the 470 cash-and-stock offer withdrawn in August.
- The pressure on MON to defend its position as the biggest seeds player would be "huge" as chemical companies will want to defend or even strengthen their market positions, says MM Warburg's Oliver Schwarz.
- Regulatory hurdles to a merger would require the combined company to sell off some businesses, likely sparking interest from contenders such as BASF (OTCQX:BASFY -0.1%), Schwarz says. “All the big companies that are swimming in this pond would probably be interested in taking over assets that Dow or DuPont would sell."
Nov. 10, 2015, 10:02 AM
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY -2.2%) unveils plans to reorganize its paper, water, oilfield and mining businesses within its performance chemicals division, in the latest move by CEO Kurt Bock to streamline the company’s sprawling portfolio.
- BASF says the creation of two new business units - to be called paper and water, and oilfield and mining solutions - will result in ~120 job cuts globally by the end of 2016.
- Six years after BASF acquired Ciba for $5B, Bock continues to restructure the company's under-performing performance products division, which already has seen more than 4,500 job cuts and 35 plant closures.
Nov. 5, 2015, 12:15 PM
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) is putting its steel coatings business up for sale in a deal that could value the business at up to ~€500M ($540M), Reuters reports.
- BASF has opened the unit's books to five industrial players that are taking an interest in buying, according to the report.
- Unlike BASF's much larger automotive coatings business, analysts see the coil coatings business as lacking critical mass, and a competitor could seize a deal opportunity to bulk up.
Oct. 27, 2015, 10:17 AM
- Net profit of €1.2B, compared with €1.01B for the same period last year, largely driven by gains from the recent asset swap with Gazprom. EBIT before one-time items fell 10% to €1.6B.
- Sales dropped 5% to €17.4B, hurt by weakness at its basic chemicals division and economic slowdown in China.
- Citing soft growth in the emerging markets, BASF (OTCQX:BASFY -5.3%) lowered its full-year earnings guidance, and now expects a "slight decrease" in EBIT before special items compared with 2014.
Sep. 28, 2015, 12:58 PM
- Huntsman (HUN -23.8%) plunges by nearly 25% following an earnings warning from the company after Friday's market close that lower titanium dioxide pricing, currency headwinds, soft demand in Asia, lower oil prices and a delay in benefits from lower raw material prices will negatively impact Q3 earnings.
- HUN says it also sees lower margins for methyl tertiary butyl ether due to lower oil prices and forecast continued lower MDI urethane component product margins in the Asia Pacific region.
- CEO Peter Huntsman says he is "optimistic about the future" despite the short-term headwinds, and that the company anticipates Q4 adjusted EBITDA similar to Q3 at ~$300M, similar to last year's level; HUN also remains committed to a separation of the pigments and additives business by year-end 2016 or sooner.
- Other chemical companies also are lower: DOW -2.7%, DD -1.7%, EMN -4%, ASH -4.3%, CC -7.6%, KRO -1%, SHLM -3.1%, LYB -4.1%, SSL -4%, OTCQX:BASFY -1.3%.
Sep. 4, 2015, 11:29 AM
- Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) signs a shareholder agreement with its European partners on the development of the second phase of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system in the Baltic Sea to increase gas supplies to the European Union, moving forward on an expansion previously opposed by EU authorities.
- The project would be developed by a new company in which Gazprom holds a 51% stake; Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), E.ON (OTCQX:EONGY), OMV (OTC:OMVJF) and BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) each would get a 10% stake and ENGIE (OTCPK:ENGIY) the remaining 9%.
- Under the proposed expansion, two more lines would be added to the existing network running to the German coast, bringing annual net aggregate capacity to 1.9T cf of natural gas.
- Earlier: BASF, Gazprom to complete asset swap deal
- Earlier: YPF, Gazprom sign deal to develop gas projects in Argentina
Sep. 4, 2015, 7:01 AM
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) have agreed to complete an asset-swap deal signed in December 2013 but called off late last year following Russia's annexation of the Crimea region.
- As previously planned, BASF will exit the gas-trading and -storage business of its subsidiary Wintershall and will further expand its production of oil and gas.
- Gazprom will acquire BASF's natural-gas trading business and will also get a 50% share in BASF’s North Sea oil exploration and production unit.
- The swap was already approved by the European Commission at the beginning of December 2013.
Sep. 3, 2015, 8:15 AM
- Bloomberg reports that the company unknowingly inherited a ticking legal time bomb when it acquired Engelhard Corp. for $5B in 2006.
- Apparently new asbestos lawsuits against Englehard may be opened, which can translate into millions in potential liabilities for BASF (OTCQX:BASFY).
- "I wouldn’t want to be a BASF shareholder right now," said lawyer Tom Bevan, who represented hundreds of people who sued Engelhard in the 1990s and is involved in a current federal case against the company.
- On the other side of the fence: "This is baseless speculation by plaintiffs' lawyers," BASF spokeswoman Robin Rotenberg declared in a statement.
Aug. 3, 2015, 10:58 AM
- German chemicals group BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) has lined up a loan package from large multinational banks for a potential takeover offer for Syngenta (NYSE:SYT), which has rejected a $45B takeover offer from Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Reuters reports.
- BASF would wait for MON to make a bid before making its own move for SYT, and it would be comfortable with no merger at all and the industry status quo prevailing, the report says.
- "BASF will not be a first mover but remain a reactive player," according to one source.
Jul. 24, 2015, 7:31 AM
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) CEO Kurt Bock is planning to rebuild his company's business in Iran, saying a visit to the country this week showed him the market potential for German companies.
- Iran has the globe's second-biggest natural gas reserves, the fourth-biggest oil reserves, and a developing petrochemical industry, which will have an impact when the country is more strongly integrated into the world economy, Bock said.
Jun. 23, 2015, 7:29 AM
Jun. 22, 2015, 10:37 AM
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY +4.2%) has inaugurated its world-scale production complex for acrylic acid, butyl acrylate and superabsorbent polymers in Brazil, which will be the first plants for acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers in South America.
- "This major (€500M) investment will further strengthen our position in the growing South American market,” said BASF's Michael Heinz.
- The complex has a capacity of 160K tonnes of acrylic acid per year.
Jun. 5, 2015, 7:20 AM
- BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) is more likely to go after Syngenta's (NYSE:SYT) seed business rather than the whole company, sources told Bloomberg, following Wednesday's report that BASF was interested in the company.
- In May, Syngenta rebuffed Monsanto's (NYSE:MON) $45B offer, although the two are still talking and working to resolve antitrust concerns.
- BASF, meanwhile, is on the lookout for assets that would have to be divested (the seed business) if Monsanto succeeds in a Syngenta takeover.
- Previously: Reuters: BASF considers potential bid for Syngenta (Jun. 03 2015)
- Previously: Monsanto says deal would mean sale of entire Syngenta seed business (May. 20 2015)
At BASF, we create chemistry and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world's leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social... More
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