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2/27, 3:40 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Merck makes $5.9B counter-offer for Versum Materials

German Merck Group made an offer to acquire Versum Materials for $5.9 billion, exceeding the $4 billion bid made by Entegris Inc. earlier in January, the pharmaceutical company announced on Wednesday. Merck proposed to buy the Arizona-based semiconductor maker for $48 per share in cash, a 51.7% premium on the Versum undisturbed share price on the day prior to Entergris-Entegis merger announcement.

Merck believes the merger would create a "deep and complementary portfolio of electronic materials, equipment, and services for the semiconductor and display industries" which would in turn "enable faster innovation cycles and strengthen the product offering to customers" and "provide an additional source for innovation through leading positions in attractive segments."

"We truly believe in the power of a combined electronic materials portfolio of Merck and Versum. Our attractive cash proposal to Versum’s investors underlines that we are fully committed to completing this transaction successfully," chief executive officer of Merck Stefan Oschmann said.

Breaking the News / MD