BASF close to acquiring Cognis in a potential €3 billion deal

BASF, the world's largest chemical company, is close to wrapping a deal to acquire debt-ridden Cognis, a maker of speciality chemicals owned by private equity firms Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Permira Advisers Ltd for as much as €3 billion ($4 billion).

According to Businessweek, the prolonged talks that were going on since April 2010 (See: BASF in talks to acquire Cognis in a potential €3 billion deal), may finally be announced as early as tomorrow.

Cognis, which was acquired by private equity funds Permira Advisers Ltd, Goldman Sachs and SV Life Sciences for €2.5 billion in 2001, has reportedly rejected a €3.3-billion offer from Lubrizol Corporation because of an exclusive negotiation agreement with BASF.

The Financial Times Deutschland reported today that top executives of BASF will be meeting the representatives of the private equity firms tomorrow to finalize the finer details and sign the deal.

Monheim, Germany-based Cognis is a leading global supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability.

A former Henkel AG unit, Cognis employs about 5,600 people, and operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for the pharma, foods, beverages and dietary supplements markets, as well as for the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries.