Minerals Technologies enters fray for Amcol International with $1.38 bn bid

Minerals Technologies Inc (MTI), an earlier subsidiary of Pfizer, has offered to buy minerals and materials group Amcol International Corp, for $42 per share, topping a $41 per share bid from Imerys, a French producer and processer of industrial minerals.

New York Stock Exchange-listed MTI said its offer of $42 per share in cash was conveyed in a letter to Amcol's board. Paris-based Imerys announced the $41 per share offer on 12 February.

MTI's offer totals $1.38 billion, including the assumption of $201 million debt.

Imerys's bid for Amcol has already been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies

Amcol's market capitalisation stood at $1.3 billion based on the stock's closing price of $41.35, but its market value shot up to $1.5 billion on Friday based on its stock closing price of $45.27.

"Our proposal is clearly superior to the existing deal for Amcol, and we look forward to working with Amcol to consummate this superior transaction as soon as is practicable," said Joseph Muscari, executive chairman of MTI."

''Strategically, it's a strong fit. We each have differentiated product and process technologies, and similar geographic expansion initiatives that will be further advanced by the combination. With this transaction, MTI will continue to generate strong cash flow and drive long-term shareholder value."

With revenue over $1 billion in 2013, Illinois-based Amcol is a global specialty minerals and materials company operating in 26 countries and has a strong presence in the US.

The company has a global leadership position in bentonite, a mineral with a unique scope of properties applicable to a diverse set of growing commercial applications ranging from metalcasting to construction and drilling, as well as a number of consumer products.

Amcol also serves the expanding oil and gas market through its Energy Services business.

MTI said that the transaction combines its global leadership in precipitated calcium carbonate with Amcol's global leadership in bentonite, creating a stronger US-based global minerals supplier.

New York-based MTI is a resource- and technology-based company that develops and produces performance-enhancing minerals, mineral-based and synthetic mineral products for the paper, steel, polymer and other manufacturing industries on a worldwide basis.

The company recorded sales of $1.02 billion in 2013.