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Activist shareholders raise stake in Clariant to more than 10%

July 20, 2017
Chemical Value Chain

Keith Meister’s activist hedge fund Corvex Management and 40 North, the investment firm run by David Winter and David Millstone, through a company called White Tale Holdings, has raised its stake in Clariant, the company announced today.

“White Tale Holdings now hold a stake in excess of 10%. This follows earlier mandatory notifications by White Tale Holdings to the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX) regarding their holdings,” Clariant said on Thursday. White Tale Holdings informed the SIX stock exchange that it now holds 10.06% in Clariant.

Earlier this month, White Tale Holdings raised its stake to 7.2% becoming the largest Clariant shareholder hoping to derail Clariant’s planned merger with Huntsman. The aim is to force Clariant management to reconsider the strategy behind the proposed $20-billion merger and, according to analysts, possibly attract a counterbid for Clariant. The activist shareholders earlier this month said the deal with Huntsman has no strategic rationale and is a complete reversal of the company’s longstanding strategy of becoming a pure-play specialty chemicals company. “We believe that the proposed merger significantly undervalues Clariant’s shares and that far more value could be created for shareholders through any number of alternative transactions,” the investors said, in a statement on 4 July. Clariant says that, “as with all our shareholders, we are in an open and engaging dialogue with White Tale.”

Clariant’s largest shareholder is a group of former shareholders of Süd Chemie, which Clariant acquired in 2011, who together hold 13.96%, based on their last SIX filing, and are in support of the proposed Clariant-Huntsman merger. While they form a group, they have not legally combined their separate holdings into one single partnership. Through White Tale, Corvex and 40 North have used the structure of a limited partnership to combine their holdings, making White Tale the largest single shareholder in Clariant.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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