Activist investors torpedo Clariant, Huntsman $20 billion merger

Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant in addition to U.S. group Huntsman abandoned their $20 billion merger deal on Friday, notching a win for activist investors who fought against the deal for months on the grounds in which would certainly destroy shareholder value.

White Tale, the investment vehicle of hedge fund manager Keith Meister in addition to completely new York City-based fund 40 North, had increased its Clariant stake to more than 20 percent, Reuters reported on Thursday ahead of the announcement of the tie-up being dropped.

White Tale’s rising stake, coupled with some other Clariant shareholders who arrived on the scene against the deal, left the Swiss company doubtful of mustering the two-thirds support necessary for the merger to go through.

The successful revolt comes amid a wave of investor activism in Switzerland, where Credit Suisse is usually under attack in addition to Nestle also faces demands for change.

Chief Executive Hariolf Kottmann said Clariant still had options to explore after further talks with White Tale.

“To do a merger of equals … is usually one option, to make a large transformational transaction is usually another option, to continue to stand alone is usually a third option,” Kottmann told reporters on a call where he vowed to remain CEO.

“There are four or all 5 of these options, in addition to they have all pros in addition to cons.”

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