Ferro Said to Have Received Takeover Approach From Apollo

  • Chemicals maker said to have rebuffed initial Apollo proposal
  • Apollo Global has announced three deals above $1b since Feb. 1

Ferro Corp., a maker of chemicals for the manufacturing industry, recently received a takeover approach from Apollo Global Management LLC, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Ferro rebuffed the initial approach, which was made within recent weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter isn’t public. It is unclear whether Ferro plans to engage in negotiations or if Apollo plans to return with a fresh proposal, they said.

Representatives for Apollo and Ferro declined to comment.

Activist investor FrontFour Capital Group LLC on Monday released a letter calling for Ferro to pursue strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the business. FrontFour has been an investor in Ferro since 2012, and holds more than 3 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, according to the letter.

“We believe that Ferro would receive strong interest from both strategic and private equity buyers, at a price reflecting a significant premium to Ferro’s current trading levels,” FrontFour said in the letter.

Shares in Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Ferro, which makes coatings for ceramic tiles and dinnerware as well as chemical pigments and components for electronic products, rose as much as 17 percent to $12.76 at 9:44 a.m. in New York Tuesday, valuing the company at about $1 billion.

Apollo has been on a dealmaking spree this year, announcing three acquisitions valued at more than $1 billion since the start of February. The firm agreed Monday to buy grocer The Fresh Market Inc. for about $1.4 billion in cash, following last month’s $1.1 billion buyout of Apollo Education Group Inc. and the acquisition of home-security monitoring company ADT Corp. for about $6.9 billion.

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