David buys Goliath: Showa Denko to bet it all on Hitachi Chemical
Nikkei -- Nov 27
Japanese materials maker Showa Denko has moved to spend roughly 900 billion yen ($8.26 billion), or double its market value, to purchase domestic rival Hitachi Chemical, demonstrating its resolve to remain relevant in today's global industry.

Showa Denko won preferential negotiating rights to purchase Hitachi Chemical, Nikkei reported Monday. Showa Denko is expected to execute a tender offer as early as next month that will target all shares, including the 51% interest from parent Hitachi.

Showa Denko acknowledged Tuesday that it is looking to purchase Hitachi Chemical. "With the goal of raising our corporate value, this company is constantly considering various options, including the acquisition of shares in Hitachi Chemical," it said in a statement.

Showa Denko came out on top after multiple rounds of bidding Hitachi Chemicals conducted this month. Many suitors participated in the race, including domestic rivals Mitsui Chemical and Nitto Denko, as well as investment funds.

The bidders eventually dropped out one after another. "The purchase price was too large to be justifiable to shareholders," said an executive at one major chemical manufacturer.

With the addition of a premium, Showa Denko could spend about 900 billion yen to wholly own Hitachi Chemical. The price tag would approach the 992.1 billion yen in consolidated sales Showa Denko reaped last year.

Market conditions have deteriorated for graphite electrodes, one of Showa Denko's main products.

The company appears willing to gamble virtually everything on the deal to shore up its current portfolio and compete with international rivals in a global race.

News source: Nikkei
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