BASF appoints Shearman for Engelhard hostile bid

Shearman & Sterling has gained a rare instruction for chemical giant BASF advising on its hostile bid for smaller US rival Engelhard.

BASF has a huge in-house legal team and although highly acquisitive, rarely instructs outside counsel.

The company launched its hostile bid for Engelhard yesterday (3 Jan) with a $4.9bn all-cash takeover offer or $37 per share. The move follows Engelhard’s rejection of a friendly offer on 21 December.

Last year BASF’s acquisitions included Swiss firm Orgamol, the North American business of LATI USA and Leuna Miramid. It also disposed of its ink printing business to CVC Capital Partners.

Shearman has acted for BASF in the past. In 2004 it advised the conglomerate on $2.5bn debt facility.

New York M&A partners Peter Lyons and Clare O’Brien are leading the Shearman team.