Minerals Technologies Sweetened Bid for Amcol Tops Imerys

Minerals Technologies Inc. raised its unsolicited offer for clay-products maker Amcol International Corp. by 5.9 percent to $1.46 billion, topping an agreed bid from Imerys SA.

Minerals Technologies is offering $45 a share, the New York-based company said today in a statement, up from an earlier proposal of $42.50. Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Amcol agreed Feb. 26 to be acquired by Imerys for $42.75 a share. Amcol rose 4.4 percent to $46.35 in New York.

Amcol supplies bentonite clay, which is used in metal casting, construction, drilling and landfill liners. Minerals Technologies says Amcol would complement its environmental, energy and consumer products. For Paris-based buildings-materials maker Imerys, Amcol’s North American sales would offset a slower economy in Europe.

Minerals Technologies said today the transaction could close in the first half and would immediately add to its earnings. The company also said at least $50 million in costs could be eliminated by combining with Amcol.

Minerals Technologies fell 0.7 percent to $53.11 in New York. Imerys fell 3.2 percent to 65.34 euros in Paris.

Minerals Technologies said JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to finance the deal. Lazard Ltd. is acting as lead financial adviser and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is acting as legal counsel.

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

The $1.46 billion cash value of the offer is based on 32.5 million shares outstanding as of Feb. 13.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.