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Switzerland’s Sika would be interested in buying some parts of BASF’s construction chemicals business but has ruled out bidding for the whole business, Chief Executive Paul Schuler told Reuters on Friday.
The Swiss chemicals maker is still awaiting a sales pack from bank Goldman Sachs which has been appointed by BASF to oversee the sale of the business which could carry a price tag of up to 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion).
Schuler said Sika would be interested in parts of BASF’s business, for example its sealants, flooring and mortar units.
But competition concerns means Sika would not launch a bid for the whole business, he said.
“We would have a look at it,” Schuler said. “BASF have some fantastic businesses in there, they have a lot of interesting things which we would pick up if we could.”
“But buying the whole thing is out of the question.”
Funding a deal would not be a problem for Sika, which is mainly concerned about an overlap between the two companies business in concrete admixtures, used to waterproof or strengthen building projects.
In some markets a combination of Sika and BASF’s concrete admixtures businesses would have a market share of up to 80 percent, meaning a tie-up could fall foul of market regulators.
Sika would instead wait on when and how BASF decided to dispose of the business, Schuler said.
One possibility could be Sika teaming up with other industry players, who would divide the business after buying it.
Schuler declined to comment on this approach, saying only: “We look at all the options.”
Schuler declined to say how much Sika would offer for the parts of BASF his company was interested in.
“How much would I pay? I don’t know, the cheaper the better,” he said.
Sika will press ahead with integrating Parex, the French mortar company it agreed to buy for $2.6 billion in January.
He was speaking after reporting full-year profit that beat expectations, bolstered by new factory openings and takeovers.
Sika, which makes products used for strengthening and waterproofing concrete walls and flooring, reported a 5.9- percent increase in its full-year net profit to 687.1 million Swiss francs ($686.55 million), beating analyst forecasts for a 685 million francs profit in an Infront Data poll.
The results sent the company’s shares up 4.5 percent by midday on the Zurich stock exchange. ($1 = 0.8817 euros)
By John Revill
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