Imerys Tops Minerals Technologies Offer for Amcol

Imerys SA sweetened its bid for clay-products maker Amcol International Corp. to $1.4 billion in cash, topping an unsolicited offer from Minerals Technologies Inc.

The cash offer of $42.75 a share was unanimously accepted by Amcol directors, the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company said in a statement yesterday. The bid is $1.75 per share, or 4.3 percent, higher than an Imerys offer accepted on Feb. 12. It’s 25 cents higher than Minerals Technologies’ unsolicited offer of Feb. 24 and 75 cents more than its original unsolicited bid on Feb. 14.

“The increase of our offer price reflects our continued desire to complete this compelling transaction, in accordance with our disciplined financial criteria,” Gilles Michel, chairman and chief executive officer of Paris-based Imerys, said in a separate statement.

Amcol is a producer of bentonite clay whose products are used in metal casting, construction, drilling and landfill liners. Minerals Technologies, based in New York, has said Amcol would complement its environmental, energy and consumer products. For Imerys, which makes building materials, Amcol’s North American sales would offset a slower economy in Europe.

The value of Imerys’ offer is $1.61 billion, including $1.4 billion in cash and the assumption of $201.3 million of debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Amcol rose 0.9 percent to $44.89 at 5:15 p.m. in New York after the close of regular trading yesterday. The shares have gained 21 percent through yesterday’s close since the deal with Imerys was announced.

Minerals Technologies climbed 2 percent to $53.96 yesterday before Amcol’s sweetened offer was announced. Imerys rose 0.2 percent to 66.23 euros in Paris.

Amcol’s financial adviser is Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its legal counsel is Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

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